From Nicholas Kristoff to food, I read another NY Times article--this one about about snacking and what has become a national obsession. Over Christmas, I grumbled about all the place I had to bring "a snack". After about 10 different venues, I almost cried one night when a church member asked me (last minute) to bring a dozen cookies for coffee hour. It is true, I could have just picked something up at the store, but even that can be hard when the closest store is 5 miles away and my grocery dollars barely stretch anymore. I wouldn't feel so bad about contributing if I felt the snacks were necessary, but there seems to be so much waste. I signed up to bring cheese and crackers to my daughter's art show only to get there and see table after table of cheese and crackers. They put half of it back for the second half of the show. The show was from 4-7 PM. Was nobody going to eat dinner? My daughter goes to a small school, so the same small pool of parents (mainly mothers) were going to be or had already been called upon to bring dinners for the theater production week, concessions for the play, treats for the holiday party, and desserts for after the music concert. All of these events happened within a month of one another. For approximately 40 kids, there were about 10 mothers who donated snacks for the holiday party--in addition to the subs the kids were getting for lunch. Add to that the snacks we bring to Sunday School, which is an hour long--after which, the kids rush the coffee hour table of treats. Why are our kids overweight?
The article cited the demise of the family dinner (anyone who reads this blog knows how I consecrate that holy of holy hours), the guilt of busy parents, and the overscheduled child who needs nourishment to get her through piano lessons followed by gymanstics lessons.
I ask all you committee chairs, if you are in charge of snacks for an event, think about it. Are they really necessary? Do you need 10 parents to bring snacks or will one snack--perhaps a dozen clementines--fill the need? Consider your plan for leftover snacks. Can the bag of pretzels be kept for the next concert in two weeks? I thank you in advance for conserving our food, my family's dinner appetites, and the oft-assailed energy of mothers.