I'm pretty sure I forgot to mention that we finally found a place to donate the extra food items we've been picking up each week at Publix. It took a lot of research to find the type of food pantry I was looking for, and I was surprised at the number that told me they didn't accept donations from individuals. Doing something good is hard work, apparently.
Finally, I stumbled upon The Sharing Center in Longwood, an organization that works to prevent homelessness by helping children and families with critical needs during financial emergencies caused by job loss and health problems. From their website:
"Assistance is given free of charge and may include food, clothing, help with costs of basic needs for rent/mortgage, transportation, bus tokens, costs of prescriptions and other medical issues, utilities, household goods, and other items specific to individual needs. Food pantries and casework offices are located in Longwood and in Sanford."
Ironically, when we arrived to drop off our items, I instantly recognized it as an organization we worked with years ago (way pre-kids) to help a family during the holidays.
In addition to our small family contributions, we'll be working on a food drive to benefit The Sharing Center as part of an upcoming Thanksgiving unit study with SLC.