Feeding Others – A Route to Happiness?

Posted by | August 13, 2014 | Dining, Food for thought | No Comments

A few weeks ago, during the Month of the Bitch, dear friend Rev. Kane asked me to guest blog for his page Ministry of Happiness (you can read that piece here). He asked me to write about the connection of food and happiness for me. I made a list of projected topics and kept that list.  As I stared at the list every day, it got me to thinking that after Bitching for the month of July I should show some gratitude and happiness in the month of August. So here you go.

As I get ready to resume my volunteer work with Three Square (I took a year off after chairing their DISH event last year), I realized that feeding people makes me happy.  They don’t even need to be around MY table for it to make me happy. I realized that part of my internal joy was missing because I wasn’t volunteering to feed people.  But what is it about feeding people that makes me so happy?  Is it that I enjoy the compliments? Is it that I know through feeding their bodies and providing camaraderie to feed their souls I am making THEM happy?  Maybe a little of both I guess.

Me and the cast of Million Dollar Quartet and Three Square CEO Brian Burton at DISH 2013.

Me and the cast of Million Dollar Quartet and Three Square CEO Brian Burton at DISH 2013.

So how do you feel when you eat with friends and family?  When you cook with or for friends and family? We all know that parties make everyone happy, even a “funeral party” where you remember the departed can bring joy. But what about everyday food? I find feeding people everyday food is just as powerful at providing me with happiness as “party food”. Recently a woman in my circle of influence has been treated for cancer; another was in a horrible car accident. Both were sore put to provide meals for themselves. I leapt at the chance to help out. What I found was that I achieved happiness through helping others.  It wasn’t the compliments, it was the joy I brought THEM that made me so happy.  Happiness accomplished!

Do you want to help out?  Do you need more happiness in your life?  Here are some suggestions for you to help others have joy through food:

  • Volunteer at your local soup kitchen – I know a lot of Chefs that offer their time in this fashion.
  • Find your local Feeding America Food Bank HERE, or contact a local food pantry and offer to volunteer in some aspect. No matter what skill set you have they have a job that needs to be done.
  • If you have a friend (or a friend of a friend) who is in need of domestic assistance, offer to make meals for them.
  • Contact your local Meals on Wheels chapter and offer to deliver meals (you don’t even have to cook) to home-bound seniors.  Sister Nancy did this until she re-entered the workforce and found it to be incredibly rewarding.
  • If you live in Vegas, you can help out by dining out.  Choose one of the restaurants on this list and dine August 22nd – 28th on the special menus listed here created for Restaurant Week. Unlike other cities, our Restaurant Week is a fundraising effort to feed others. A portion of your purchase price will be donated to our local Feeding America Food Bank, Three Square.
  • If you live in Vegas, attend Taste of the Nation at The Palms – October 2nd 2014. Tickets are available NOW!  You don’t want to miss this!

I hope you find happiness with your food.  And since August is going to be Month of Happiness and Gratitude expect to see another “nice” piece soon. If you enjoy it, share it with YOUR friends.

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