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Alternative Holiday Gift Idea: Giving Back With Harvesters

Harvesters Cover

Over the years, you’ve heard me discuss my issue with “stuff-itis” for extended family gift-giving and my desire to give experiences and not more things.

So when I saw this in my Facebook feed this morning … I realized that my friend said what I had been thinking for some time now…


She spoke the truth.

We are craving interaction with our families. Whether that be over the table at a meal, making Christmas cookies together, or watching a movie with popcorn and blankets.

People are craving connection. In a season that seems uncertain, it feels good to be connected to something that is making the world a better, more beautiful place to live in.

So, this year, I’m contemplating taking my SCROOGE-itis (you’ve read those two other posts, right?) to the next level, by skipping the stuff all together and donating full on to a charity (or even better – working at a charity with my family.)

There are a ton of different charities to choose, but I thought I’d highlight one of my favorites (that I’m also blessed to call partner)Harvesters.

Harvesters’ mission is to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow.

Friends. Is that not the simplest message you’ve ever read?

They are a regional food bank that serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas. Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, community kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes and others.

Harvester makes people not hungry. Harvesters makes it so people can cook for themselves in their homes and have a family dinner. They help make home life normal when things outside of the home may be far from normal.

If you believe, like I do, that change starts at home – around the table, here are some simple ways of giving back with Harvesters.

Giving Back With Harvesters Ideas

HARVESTERS - Hope Tribute

1. Give Hope.

Harvesters’ Recipes for Hope allows you to give a gift of “hope” to loved ones or colleagues in lieu of a physical gift. In addition to the donation to Harvesters, these special tributes feature a recipe from Kansas City’s own chefs, honoring the recipient with a delicious new addition to their own table.

This year’s recipes include:

For more information on the Harvesters’ Recipes for Hope, go HERE.

2. Give Food.

Harvesters is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their program Check-Out Hunger. At more than 125 grocery stores throughout the area, you can either have your cashier scan a $1, $5, $10 or $25 Check-Out Hunger donation coupon to add a donation on your grocery bill or grab a few extra nonperishable items to add to the in-store barrels.

Check-Out Hunger is the largest annual fundraiser for Harvesters – helping distribute tons of food to he hungry throughout more than 620 nonprofit agencies.


3. Get Red Rooster.

Harvesters, along with Rainy Day Books, is hosting an event on Saturday, December 3 from 6:30-7:30 pm at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For $10, you will receive a signed copy of Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. In addition, you can listen to Samuelsson discuss how global traditions converge on his menus and why he believes in the importance of building healthier, stronger communities.

See the Plaza Lights, support a great organization, and get an amazing cookbook… WIN-WIN. Get your $10 tickets HERE.

4. Give Time.

Holidays jam packed? Me too. Instead of trying to “cram it all in”, take a raincheck and sign up to give your time to help sort food or assist at special events or providing professional service at Harvesters.

This is an “experience-based gift” – giving your time at Harvesters followed by a special dinner out or a movie. It is the simple things that make family memories that matter.

I know there are hundreds of worth-while charities in Kansas City. For me, this one is a favorite because of their simple mission. I believe it is hard to be part of society when your belly is empty and pains of hunger. And to add insult to injury, I throw too much food away DAILY for anyone to be without a meal at dinnertime. Anyone else agree? I have enough…I can give more. And I choose Harvesters this holiday season.

How will you tell the perfect holidays that you are “letting go”? What new traditions will you make as a family? 

Disclosure: I’m THRILLED to be partnering with Harvesters in a sponsored capacity on this post. With that being said, the written remarks and opinions, along for my desire for no one to be hungry and my life to be less about stuff, are entirely my own. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.