At the risk of sounding like a complete Debbie Downer, we need to talk about something . . . We’ve got problems here in the US — a whole bunch of problems. Issues like hunger. Homelessness. Violence. Big chunks of the population feeling isolated and forgotten. And that list is just for starters. Sure, there are some programs out there to address these things but let’s get real. If they depend on government money, those programs may not be around for too much longer. It’s time to roll up our collective sleeves and find ways to work together to fix what’s broken. And jump start creativity to solve problems.
Call me naive if you like, but I believe that BIG ideas emerge from small shifts in thinking. A tweak in perspective coupled with creativity and a healthy dose of compassion. So I went looking for examples of those shifts and tweaks. And what I uncovered was nothing short of inspirational! Creativity unleashed through outside the box approaches. Collaboration. Ingenuity and innovation to make our country better.
Ever heard of a “REVERSE food truck?” There are several springing up around the United States. In Sacramento, California the REVERSE food truck parks at the local farmer’s market to collect donations. Shoppers are encouraged to buy a little extra produce from the farmers to donate. The farmers win by selling more of their products, customers win by knowing they are doing something to feed the hungry, and people who are hungry get nutritious food to eat. Why couldn’t this work in your community?
Sometimes all it takes is one person
with a different approach
to take problems and turn them into solutions.
Ben Simon was a college student he saw enormous amounts of food being thrown out every day in the school cafeteria.
The problem? Good food wasted that had to be transported to the local landfill. The solution? He asked if it could be donated to local groups providing meals to the hungry instead. The answer was “Yes” and the Food Recovery Network was born. Collaboration and creativity in action! Today the Network operates on college campuses in many states. Is the college near you participating? If not, YOU could be the person to get the ball rolling.
Canstruction® is an innovative way to get canned food into the hands of hunger relief organizations. It was inspired way back in 1992 by a group of architects and engineers living in New York. How does it work? Volunteers construct amazing sculptures made entirely of full cans of food for art exhibitions, events, and even competitions. Businesses and community organizations turn art into full bellies by challenging each other to bragging rights to the best sculpture. Side benefits: team building, creative thinking, and FUN.
Teachers take note: There are events for schools and youth groups that incorporate art and design, math skills, problem solving and STEM principles. All the food is donated to local food banks at the end of the event. What’s not to love?
Look for more blogs soon about how people just like you and me are tackling big problems with more creativity and collaboration than money. And if you need a little help getting your own creative juices flowing, check out my eBook Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU!
What’s happening in your community to address the problem of hunger and food insecurity? Share what’s working. Tell us about your ideas. How can creativity and collaboration help those who too often go to bed hungry in our country? Let’s change this together!
Bonnie Pond is an inspiring speaker, self-described “Bahooda Kicker” who helps women stop settling for less than they really want in life, and founder of the international Make Your Life Count Movement. Her mission is to motivate women around the world to live their purpose, love their lives, and make them count.