When did we get so paranoid? I, for one, choose not to participate in fearing everybody I don't know. I meet the kindest people constantly, maybe partly because I smile at them and offer food, but also because people crave the trust of other people. If we start with trust, we can forget about walls and weapons and where anybody came from. We have to constantly remind ourselves that getting caught in the line of fire of a terrorist is about as likely as ... I can't even find a similar number. You're at least 3 times more likely to be hit by lightning. You're more than 5,000 times more likely to die from a medical error. The greatest cause of death for Americans is car accidents, but we still go out there and drive every day.
But I digress. My point is that we are wasting an awful lot of energy trying to make ourselves safe, and mostly focusing on the wrong dangers. Over-regulation is part of what makes collecting unwanted food so hard for me. People fear liability. Cities worry that if we give food to people on the street, the city might be sued if someone gets sick. I want to get into some of the less-supported areas of downtown with meals, but will need to get through several legalities first.
We won't be worrying about any fundraising in January or February, but will focus on getting food out there and finding out what other basic needs aren't being met. Look forward to pleas for scarves, hats, umbrellas, tarps, socks, blankets, jackets, toilet paper, feminine products, toothbrushes, soap ... so many things we take for granted.
We have about 100 loaves of bread already, and will be getting that much again twice more this month. We'll be using the funds you all have sent so generously to buy peanut butter, jam, ham, cheese, and tangerines. We'll have several bag-lunch-making-sessions, starting as soon as I can get permission from Multnomah County and Washington County to pass them out. We're licensed and insured and have a legal place to handle food, so I think we'll be OK and should be able to start next week.
I wish, though, that we could make caring for people easier than fearing them.