Creating Kindness in the Chaos of 2020
The year 2020 has been like no other we have ever experienced. We are in the worst pandemic and financial crisis in our lifetimes. Covid-19 shut us all down quickly as it swept the globe. Cities and countries SHUT DOWN. What followed after that was not any better, with every month bringing more and more hardships and uncertainty. I personally couldn’t wait for this year to be over and then something unexpected happened. I know they say everything happens for a reason, I’m not sure the real reason but I am so grateful that I got to be part of and witness the pure kindness and willingness to help others that I witnessed over the last few days. The chaos of this year has brought out the worst in people and I didn’t have hope until this happened.
We have farm animals and we are always telling stores, employees, and people with gardens we will take your old food, greens from gardens, pumpkins from Halloween, or any free food our pigs, chickens and other poultry will eat. We use to get bread from the bread store in the city all the time to feed the animals but it was usually expired or pretty darn close. This experience was going to be different. Stores that sell food are very picky about what they put on shelves, so if the food comes in partial frozen, frozen, they run out of room, it’s going to expire before they can sell it and a new order comes in, there are tons of reasons that a store needs to unload food and in a hurry. We got just such a call the other night saying did we want fruits and veggies at about 7:30 at night. We had no idea what we were going was about to happen.
We got to the store a while later as we live in a rural area of Nova Scotia, and the closest community with street lights is a 15-minute drive. We get there and they are taking the plastic off the pallet to loading the truck. We filled the truck not once but twice. The store tried to get a hold of local non-profits and was only able to get one that took as much as they could. The amount of food was overwhelming. I was thankful it did not get tossed as it so often happens with retailers. I am not mentioning the retailer as I do not need them getting any grief from anyone, they had reasons to discard the stock and did everything to ensure it got not to be wasted if it was people or animals who got it as long as it didn’t end up in a landfill.
I’m sure you have been screaming at the screen asking what we got and what it looks like, I’m getting to it. I took the opportunity to take lots of pictures and write down steps to show everyone how much food I was able to preserve and how. Did I mention the day before this gift of food my husband got a deer; it’s muzzleloader season here so we had that we were ready to process but got distracted.
The List of Fruits and Vegetables includes:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Baby Carrots
- Baby Tomatoes
- Honey Dew Melon
- Red, Orange & Yellow Peppers
There were single boxes of some and multiple boxes of others, some were in bags and all were wrapped in plastic. We called the neighbour, my daughter was home from university on study week, and we loaded all the stuff on our deck for the night until we could come up with a game plan. My husband gathered a bunch of things to hand to our neighbour for help and told him to come back tomorrow and we would fill him and his family up. They are a young couple with a child, new to the area and she is a vegetarian and well Covid has not been kind to anyone’s pocketbook.
I checked over the food and my jaw dropped with each box, realizing the list of food described above in that list and began to bring in all the products I knew 100% sure we were going to use in this house. I knew I would have a lot of work ahead of me but there was no way the pigs were getting this food. Instead of buying groceries, hubby went to the local furniture store and purchased a new deep freezer. I really couldn’t wait until the next day so I grabbed boxes and placed them all over our house. I took 12 pieces of paper out of the printer and put 12 families’ names on them and placed 2 boxes or bags when we had no boxes emptied yet. I then began to load them up with everything and when I mean everything, I don’t mean if one of each thing or one container of each thing, I mean multiple of each thing.
As mentioned earlier the couple down the road, is a vegetarian, I put a box of avocados aside just for her as I knew the iron is essential for her balanced diet. We filled up 2 huge boxes with enough to fill a small chest freezer and her fridge and that freezer. They were extremely grateful. I contacted the people I was making boxes for to ensure I only had things they liked and added extra things I knew they could use. I think people were in disbelief, and this isn’t even where creating kindness started.
That same night, my mind was racing seeing so much food and thinking about what could be made and what could be frozen and what could be dehydrated and who else needed food was making my mind swirl. I reached out to more people on social media and arranged for them to come out to pick up food the following day. My husband and the oldest were going to hand out boxes while my daughter and I went in town to make deliveries. People were thankful and people were thanking us for creating kindness and thanking them BUT that’s not even the BEST PART…… as we are driving home my phone is going off like crazy people thanking us, people for crying saying how much they appreciated it but also saying, they too knew people who needed some help through this time and they shared what we gave them and those people shared with people. I cried and for the first time this year, my faith in people was restored. These were not rich people by any means and they shared their gifts with others and so on.
I cried when I left . I love u .. ur the kindest lady ever . I had a boxes picked out for them too. I gave my parents a bunch of mine. And I froze all the peppers. Hockey team went through the bananas Both kids teams for them.One Happy person
I appreciate it a lot! I will also share!A person who also created Kindness
Thank you so much Dana this is appreciated ♥️♥️♥️ XXXXXX said she was going to make jam with her fruitA good friend who’s talking about her veggies and someone else I dropped off too
In between prepping a huge list of foods for our home, we continued to sort and contact people. The only thing that shocked me is the people who refused. People with kids who are not well off refused free healthy in plastic, never touched by anyone as I witnessed it myself free food. I have no clue what anyone would offer such a gift but to each their own. This began on Thursday and we are on Sunday and we still are not done. We had to process my husband’s deer as well so we were busy.
I began to post the things I was doing on my personal Facebook and thankfully I got messages asking for more stuff. My husband and I so far have done the following:
- 12 bags of a dozen lemons – Frozen
- 6 bags of homemade tomatoes sauce made from baby tomatoes
- 1 extra large freezer bag of baby carrots for the freezer
- 4 extra larger freezer bags with 1/2 cabbage and 2 bags of baby carrots each to make homemade coleslaw for the Freezer
- 12 bottles of beets
- 1 extra large bag of dehydrated kiwi which is 144 kiwis; I peeled each one
- 30 lbs of frozen bananas
- 1 dehydrated pineapple
- 1 pineapple – Frozen
- 1 Cantaloupe – Frozen
- 12 cups avocado baby food (for grandson)
- 8 containers approx 2 cups each of baby sweet potatoes
- 24 bottles of salsa
- 6 lbs of dehydrated apples
- 10 bottles of tomato sauce (made from bigger tomatoes)
- 24 lbs of frozen bananas
- 16 lbs of dehydrated bananas
- 10 donair loaves (approx 2 1/2 lbs each) of venison
- 10 packages of Maple Bacon Ground Venison
- 8 packages of Venison with 6-8 pieces of meat
I have never peeled so many bananas in my life or kiwis. I will have future posts on how I prepared all the food and what we did to show you all and hopefully, you can save money this way as well. Even if you cannot get a donation of fruits and veggies you can use As I was posting the things I was doing people wanted recipes and well were to find more ingredients so I gave out more tomatoes and bananas for salsa and for freezing. So we bundled up more stuff. We got feedback from people who gave lots of things away, sharing with hockey teams and food banks and parking in parking lots giving away food, creating kindness everywhere! People are creating items from their goods and sharing even those items.
The people helped by this, directly and indirectly, were at least 100 people. I have not spoken to one person who didn’t share what they had. We still have some fruit and veggies to finish up for our grandson Noah’s baby food and I still have stuff in the dehydrator and things soaking in the fridge and something in the slow cooker. The food prep is almost done with a 7 cubic chest freezer 3/4 full of fruits, veggies & venison all at no cost to us except labour, wrapping and any spices. We needed a new freezer so filling it for free was a nice treat, creating kindness and having others create kindness.
Be sure to check back for the rest of the posts on how I preserved all this food and how you can save hundreds of dollars as well. You may not get a food donation however getting discount fruits and veggies from Flash Food or saving the food you buy so that you have no waste and use all the food you buy.