– a wonderful website created by Canadian Mennonites – a website for the UK’s Buy Nothing Day Buy Nothing Day

I really appreciate the sentiments of these websites. I think most folks (including myself) are not willing to go as far as the Buy Nothing Christmas campaign, but maybe a good start is to forgo the after-Thanksgiving mass sales day by participating in Buy Nothing Day, and along with that look for ways to include giving to the poor this Christmas, as this winter is increasingly looking like a brutal one for a lot of people. Here’s one blurb that gives a picture of this…

From: MSNBC: Food bank donations down sharply — Officials fear ‘donor fatigue’ in year plagued by disasters domestic, abroad

Those dire situations have a parallel in America’s growing food needs. An October report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 2004 was the fifth consecutive year in which the number of Americans in households at risk of hunger increased. The number of people living in what the USDA calls “food-insecure” households rose to 38.2 million last year, including 13.8 million children.

Food-bank officials say the problem’s only gotten worse since then. The effect has been the worst of scenarios: a decrease in food donations and an increase in the number of people who need them.

“Our food donations are significantly down this year compared to last year — they’re down about 20 percent,” said Becky Guerra, community affairs director for Northwest Harvest, a Washington state-based charity with offices in Seattle and warehouses serving 300 food banks throughout western Washington. “But our client numbers are up.”