I arrived yesterday in NH to visit my sister and her family. Today my nieces and nephew had their homeschool co-op.

My sister sweet-talked me into teaching her Botany class to the 4th graders, which really didn’t take much cuz I love teaching about bees!

Later, we went to the lunch room.  There was a huge line of ladies surrounded by their children waiting to talk with the lady at the counter.  Debbie, my sister, took me into the back area and this is what I saw…

Apparently, there is a gal who is a part of this co-op whose ministry and service to all the families is to bring in milk from a local dairy.  When I spoke with Laura, the gal who does all this, she said this is her way of helping out the families who have decided to homeschool their kids.  She realizes that families who commit to homeschooling make a financial sacrifice along with all the other sacrifices.

This milk, in glass bottles, is picked up the day before its shelf pull date.  Laura carts all of the leftover milk from the dairy to the co-op and families get in line to buy milk.  25¢ a pint/50¢ for a quart or half gallon.  I asked how much the farmer usually received for all the milk he sent over, it didn’t seem like a lot to pay for milk direct from a dairy.  Laura told me none of it went back to the farmer.  Once the  expenses were paid back for hauling the milk and returning glass bottles, the rest of the money went to help out families within the co-op who were struggling financially.

Over in the other part of the cafeteria, I noticed this stack of crates.

Another lady who is involved with the co-op, picks up day old bread and brings it with her on Tuesdays.  There is a small fee charged for the bread.  Again, this bread would have been thrown out but one lady realized how much good she could do with a little bit of effort.  While I was standing there, I overheard some of the ladies talking about taking some of the bread to those who were ill, shut-ins, or financially hurting.

The ripple effect from the kindness and ministry of these ladies goes way beyond those involved in the co-op.  I applaud the companies who aren’t afraid of liability and will give away their food to help others.  I applaud these women who take time out of their busy schedules to serve others, and I applaud the families who share their  blessings with others in their community who are in need.

To me, this is the ultimate in sustainable living and giving.