“The Buddha, being truly worthy of respect, never judges by the size of one’s offerings. In the past, the boy Virtue Victorious offered a mud pie to the Buddha, and was reborn as King Ashoka and ruled over all of Jambudvipa. A poor woman cut off her hair and sold it to buy oil [for the Buddha],2 and not even the winds sweeping down from Mount Sumeru could extinguish the flame of the lamp fed by this oil. Accordingly, your offerings of two and three strings of coins are far greater even than those of the ruler of Japan, who may offer the nation and build a pagoda adorned with the seven kinds of treasures that reaches to the heaven of the thirty-three gods.”
” Human beings have two kinds of treasure. One is clothing and the other is food. A sutra states, “Sentient beings live in dependence on food.”1 This passage means that living beings dwell in this world owing to food and clothing. Fish dwell in water and regard water as their treasure. Trees grow on the earth and regard the earth as their treasure. Human beings have life owing to food, and regard food as their treasure.
Life is the foremost of all treasures. It is expounded that even the treasures of the entire major world system cannot equal the value of one’s body and life.2 Even the treasures that fill the major world system are no substitute for life. Life is like a lamp, and food is like oil. When the oil is exhausted, the lamp goes out, and without food, life will cease.”
— The Gift of Rice, Writings of Nichiren Daishonen, p. 1125
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by how many people need help in our community. My family is on a strict budget and we struggle with ways to practice our values and to give to others. I have discovered that I can make every penny count for my local food bank through store sales and coupon combinations. I would love to be able to help encourage other people to make a difference in their own communities, so I’m sharing my experiences here in hopes that you will find it easier to give too!
My family practices Buddhism, and giving and supporting others is central to my religious beliefs. But no matter your spiritual practice, I believe that everyone wants to help their neighbors when they are in need.
I have chosen to support Cooperative Feeding Program in Fort Lauderdale, FL with my couponing for change. It offers an emergency pantry, a community kitchen, a free shower, an employment search center, and many other services needed by the hungry, homeless, or at risk people in my area. They can use any food items plus hygiene items that I can bargain for them!
“Right here in Broward County, amidst the sunshine and palm trees lives the face of hunger. LifeNet4Families serves over 1,000,000 meals to those who are not looking for a “handout” but a hand up…”