It was last Tuesday. #GivingTuesday according to the hashtag gods, which came at the heels of #CyberMonday and (pre-hashtag era grandfathered) #BlackFriday. I felt like the initiative to give to charity came at an inopportune time, since people just spent so much over the weekend already. But in my inbox, there was a handful of emails from PR firms offering me samples of new food products in exchange for my sharing them over the Internet, or just my consideration of doing so. An idea formed.
Members of the “media” have unique access to superfluous amounts of products. (Today, that “media,” could pertain to anyone with a Facebook or other social media account.) But some of that stuff might go to the wayside this season: Maybe your editorial calendar has filled up already. Maybe you have extras that you don’t need. Maybe you’re just not that interested in the product anymore.
I know who might be interested in your extra food instead: a food pantry.
As we’re planning our holiday menus and seasonal blog posts, approximately 1 in 7 Americans are food insecure, according to Feeding America and World Hunger. If you’re looking for a topic to write about, this is one.
So I’m accepting any offers of food products that are pitched to me this month and humbly giving them to an appropriate local charity. I wish to share a little tidbit of exposure about the food products in doing so, but ultimately not review the product myself. (I have never reviewed products on this blog of nine years, but I still receive numerous pitches for this daily.)
I hope it’s a win-win. I don’t mean to mock or demean any brand but provide some outlet for exposure that I otherwise wouldn’t. And I rather like the sound of every food product that’s been pitched my way so far in December, so I can imagine that others would enjoy them, too. Eating them, that is, as well.
I know what you’re thinking: gourmet products like truffle salts have no place in food pantries. I agree; I’m using my own judgment and I’m sure others will, too. And I’m using my imagination, too — if a jaded food blogger can get really excited about guava-flavored coconut milk, then don’t you think that a struggling, hungry person would, too?
So please use your best judgment — and imagination both. Generosity can be naive but still appreciated. Don’t you remember those well-intentioned gifts to your sister-in-law that were never actually worn by her?
And you know what? If some brands don’t really appreciate my version of “sharing” their goods, then I have a pretty decent silver lining. It goes to the tune of my favorite 80s crooner Tom Petty’s Don’t Come Around Here No More.