With the present state of our economy, the natural response for all is to make cutbacks. Understandable.  A family may cut back eating out as frequently or opt for closer-to-home vacations. But for some, cutbacks aren’t enough and they are left with little to nothing to provide even food for their families.

Recently, a Los Angeles news story came out about Food Bank donations being down, but the demand up. In these economic times, the amount of families in need only increases.

Last week, I contacted our local Food Bank to talk about their needs thinking we could volunteer our time. However, I discovered that is covered in the summer months by the volunteering youth groups. Cash wasn’t even the greatest need. They needed donations!

As we talked further, I was surprised to hear that pet products were one of the big areas of need right now. Why? Families that have little to feed themselves are left with no choice but to give away their pet because they can’t afford the necessary food to feed them. That touched my heart because we are huge animal lovers — especially my daughter. The thought of children having to give away their beloved animal because of this economy was awful.

So my daughter and I hopped in the car, headed to the store, loaded up on donations, and took them to the Food Bank warehouse. It was the greatest feeling knowing how many families we’d be helping and how many children would be thrilled to keep their pets.

Nearly every community has a Food Bank and I would venture to guess that all of them are in need this summer. I challenge everyone to call their local Food Bank and ask about their needs. Then take your children for a shopping trip for donations!

It’s just one way we can help those in need and teach our children the importance of giving to others.