“We are completely out of pasta, tomato sauce/products and juice.”

Doesn’t stuff like that just irritate you? They aren’t asking for the world here. The food pantry needed pasta, tomato sauce, and juice. They needed it so badly they sent out a plea on Facebook and it was forwarded here, there, everywhere.

It’s not a particularly exciting or creative plea, but I think that’s what was so appealing about it. For months now I’d been trying to think of a way to explain charity to Annabel. It’s hard to think of a way to introduce the reality of the world to a preschooler, at least in a way that doesn’t break their heart. Or yours. Annabel is a particularly concrete thinker, too. If she can’t see it, she doesn’t get it. Which brings me back to pasta and juice.

Annabel is four. She gets pasta and juice.

Unfortunately, Annabel is four. Which means she also gets privileges removed for poor behavior, which is why we didn’t get to take our trip to the grocery store in February as planned. And by the time the next weekend rolled around the food pantry’s status read, “Thanks for all the pasta and juice!”


Well, they always need food, right? So the next weekend we headed off. Instead of just doing pasta and juice, we consulted the list of needed food pantry items that the store keeps handy and instead we bought pasta, tomato sauce, tuna, soup, canned vegetables, raisins, and rice. Fifty bucks worth. We dropped it off in the donation bin and had a talk about how sometimes people need a hand.

Did she get it? Hard to say. She liked picking out her favorite pasta shapes and soup flavors to give away. She liked looking in the bin at all the other donations. She liked taking a special trip to the store, even if it was a week late.

We’ll do it again. After all, everyone needs pasta and juice.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can catch up on the Fifty Bucks thing here. January’s Fifty Bucks is here.