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Food raids threaten Y2K supplies
"Thanksgiving is the beginning of food-raid season, which in this year of Y2K is more serious than ever.Unless you want to lose your stockpile, youd better invest in padlocks and surveillance cameras because theyre going to get your food.Were not worried about grinches, survivalists or kleptomaniacs, but rather our own children who are bent on theft for a single purpose -- to contribute to all the food drives held by the schools and churches. If they went around the neighborhood asking for donations every time a food drive commences theyd eventually be stoned by an angry mob, so they opt to take from home to give to the poor.Parents are never told that the raiding season is under way. But it eventually dawns on us as we reach for that can of tomato sauce that we knew we bought just last week, or frantically search the cupboards for the olives needed to embellish the burrito dinner. Either were getting forgetful or somebody swiped them -- and this time of year the latter is a sure thing.Perhaps with one kid the raids wouldnt be so bad. Theyre careful not to take everything and thereby give themselves away. So theyll snatch two cans of green beans and leave one, one can of corn and leave two, one of the two cornbread mixes, and part of the stash of saltine crackers. But pickings get pretty slim for the second kid, who therefore must be bolder in what he takes, and by the time the third kid starts collecting for his or her food drive, theyll take whatevers left -- half a box of instant mashed potatoes, the peaches in heavy gooey syrup bought on special six months ago, the pancake mix with simulated blueberries that we only tried once. By the time Christmas break arrives, the household cook has nothing to work with but the balls of dust in the corners of the cupboards. Dustball soup, anyone?This should be a banner year for food banks as the kids of the world have all those Y2K supplies to sneak into their backpacks. Theyll be staggering around with 50 pound bags of rice, balancing enormous packages of pasta in their arms, and dragging out bagsful of beans. Admit it. Even though Y2K is no doubt overblown, youve at least bought a few extra cans of stuff in recent months -- just in case. Well, you can forget about preparedness. Thanks to food drives, itll all be gone come Jan. 1, 2000. If you think you can survive for a week without a grocery store, think again. Your shelves by then will be bare as an Ethiopians, and international relief organizations dont have you on their list.That means that if Y2K is bad, well all be lining up at Good Cheer to share whats available in their Food Bank. Fortunately, it wont be like were taking a handout. After all, its all our stuff."