Christian Articles for All of your Publishing Needs!

Translate this Page Here




Word Count: 571

Send Article To Friend Print/Use Article

Contact Al Boyce

Garbage In, Garbage Out

by Al Boyce  
2/06/2007 / Christian Living

I'm just a garbage man.

There's no other way to look at it. I pick up things destined for the dumpster and bring them to throw-away people.

It saves the homeless a trip to the dumpster, and postpones by a second or two the time when all landfills will run out of room.

In my experience, the average grocery store throws away 1.5 shopping carts worth of food every day just from the deli department. A lot of it is bread, but there are decorated birthday cakes as well as sandwiches, whole roasted chickens, cookies, doughnuts, a smattering of sushi.

This food is headed for the landfill because it has today's date stamped above the bar code. So, at 9 a.m. today, an 8-piece basket of fried chicken goes from $3.99 to -- FREE. That birthday cake with the $6.99 on it? Let you have it for nothing.

From one store, on one day, you can probably feed 10 people, maybe 20 if you don't worry too much about the food pyramid.

There are about 50,000 grocery stores in the United States, not counting the far greater number of convenience stores. The United Kingdom has another 6,500. I know the logistics are daunting, but my calculator says you could feed 1.1 million people a day on the garbage from those stores.

An estimated 815 million people are undernourished, worldwide. About 15 million deaths each year could be prevented with proper nutrition.

A friend of mine confided in me last week that he had spent $100 on food for one guy who had just been released from prison.

"I can't keep that up," he said. "I don't have the resources."

I asked him whether there was a grocery store near his home. I told him about the American law that waives liability for stores that give outdated food to charity.*

"What if you could get $100 worth of food every day for free?" I asked.

There is such an abundance of food. In fact, God has provided an abundance of everything we need. What is lacking are the hands and hearts to spread His generous blessings around.

Jesus' disciples had to be taught that lesson, even after seeing Christ feed 5,000 people from a few loaves and fishes.

They came upon a Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22-28) who asked Jesus to help her demon-possessed daughter. The disciples urged Jesus to send her away, for she was not one of the lost sheep of Israel.

"It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs," Jesus said as his disciples looked on.

"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

What was her great faith? She believed more strongly in the crumbs that might fall from the master's table than the discples believed in miracles received from His very hands! She considered the source so mighty that even the leftovers were sufficient to her needs.

We live in a throw-away society. What if we found ways to glean leftovers not only from large grocery stores but from convenience stores, from restaurants, from meat packing plants?

But what do I know?

I'm just a garbage man.


*Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

Al Boyce is a former writer and reporter for The Associated Press. He lives in Raleigh, NC, where he now writes for God.

Article Source: WRITERS

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW

Read more articles by Al Boyce

Like reading Christian Articles? Check out some more options. Read articles in Main Site Articles, Most Read Articles or our highly acclaimed Challenge Articles. Read Great New Release Christian Books for FREE in our Free Reads for Reviews Program. Or enter a keyword for a topic in the search box to search our articles.

User Comments

Enter comments below. Due to spam, all hyperlinks posted in the comments are now immediately disabled by our system.

Please type the following word below:

Not readable? Change text.

The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of

Hire a Christian Writer, Christian Writer Wanted, Christian Writer Needed, Christian Content Needed, Find a Christian Editor, Hire a Christian Editor, Christian Editor, Find a Christian Writer

Main FaithWriters Site | Acceptable Use Policy

By using this site you agree to our Acceptable Use Policy .

© All rights reserved. Free Reprint Articles - Your place for Christian articles, Christian poems, Christian stories and much more.