“Building” Stronger Communities with Holiday Food Collection

~shared by J. Ranner

I woke up yesterday with great ambition. Not to finish my novel (one of these days…), or to plant the flagpole on a newly completed skyscraper, or to even clean the house.

All I wanted to do was complete my Christmas shopping, so I can breathe easy and sing my favorite songs, watch Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas and wear goofy clothes during my office’s dress down days. It didn’t happen, and while I stewed over it for a little bit, it is the epitome of a first world problem in the purest sense of the word.

If you’re blessed during the holiday season in the sense of enlightenment (in contrast to being financially secure), you will notice that there’s a lot of sadness around during holidays. There’s a lot of NEED out there. Organizations like The Salvation Army take up collections to bring toys to children that would otherwise be without. And HUNGER.

Who would have thought that in the greatest country in the world (which I will defend to the ground), 1 in 6 people face hunger and food uncertainty. Not because of food shortage, but because of poverty. That means holiday meals are no different than any other meals during the year- scrapping for what you can find and making due. All of these things happen while the rest of us are getting stressed out about fighting lines at malls and replacing strands of lights.

In the scheme of things, the Best Buy website not accepting my promotional codes for free shipping is small potatoes. Perspective is everything.

The good news is that when things are falling apart, there’s always some sort of force working to try to put things back together, or at least attempt to patch things up for a while.

For the second year in a row, Woodloch was very proud to sponsor a food drive of their own, with bounties being kept right in our own community, aiding our friends and neighbors. On Wednesday, December 6th, Woodloch held a “Can-Struction” competition as a corporate team building event with Credit Suisse. Using canned goods and boxes of food, teams from Credit Suisse were tasked with a time limit to construct famous structures from across the world.

Following completion of the event, structures were judged by Woodloch staff as well as Kathleen and Rich Chicoski of the Honesdale Food Pantry. The winning display- a miniature edition of the world’s tallest building, The Burj Khalifa – took home the honors of first place. Teammates were awarded the spoils of the traditional Woodloch gold medal.

All said and done, Credit Suisse, Dave’s Foodtown of Honesdale and Lake Region IGA of Hawley each contributed $1,000 in groceries to Wayne-Pike food pantries. Coupled with supplies collected by Woodloch employees on a staff-led food drive, over $4,000 in groceries were delivered, just in time for the holiday.

“When a need or crisis arises, the Woodloch Family- which includes our guests, staff and friends- elevate themselves to meet it,” says Ranner. “And it certainly isn’t exclusive to this time of year.” Woodloch is well immersed in worthy projects year round, including pet supply collection for Dessin Animal Shelter, “Operation Cookie Drop” scouts initiatives for our heroes in the service, and of course the BK Hope Cures Foundation, which has donated over $1 million to cancer research since its inception 18 years ago.

Special thanks to Credit Suisse, Dave’s Foodtown, Lake Region IGA and our staff for stepping up to the challenge, and bringing a little more comfort to kitchens this season!