[r63] Messmer Report: Counting our blessings and helping those in need

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, November 18, 2011

Over the years, as my wife Kim and I’s children are growing up, it has become increasingly more important for us to keep traditions that bring the entire family together. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays for just that reason. We can all spend a few days together and remember how blessed we are to have our family and friends, a roof over our heads and a bountiful amount of food on our table.

The spirit of giving back has never been lacking in our community and I encourage you to find some time to help those less fortunate in some way. Next week, during Organization Day at the Statehouse the House Republican members are participating in a food drive to donate to food banks across the state.

Food banks across the country, including many in Indiana, are worried that their supplies are too low for the holiday season. There are many people who need hot meals and rely on the food banks. Without donations they will have to turn some away.

Several recent news stories have mentioned that in place of collecting canned goods, donating money can help more people in need than individual cans will. They ask that if you are considering donating to a food bank, then please consider donating the cash value instead of food.

Some people are wary of donating money out of concern it may be misused. There is an easy solution: Food Banks are like regular banks in that member agencies have accounts. Money can be donated directly into your local Food Pantry’s account, and they can use it only to withdraw food or pay some operating expenses.

Food banks receive huge discounts when purchasing food and they can take the same amount of money we would spend at a local grocery store and buy two or three times as much food.

I’m thankful for the many blessings in mine and my family’s lives. After the holiday season the legislative session will begin for 2012 and I’ll be sure to keep you updated. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.