Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ask Myself This

I feel like I spent today running around. When I was a volunteer, I wasn't really aware of the tremendous amount of work my predecessor was doing when we were setting up and handing out produce. Now I know. I did some set-up, a fair amount of clean-up, helped out the folks working the produce table, sorted meat and fish in the freezer to get three boxes over to the trailer, among other things. Today I didn't get a chance to talk to clients as much as I usually do - since I am leaving town I was thinking ahead about the next couple weeks. After service was over I went back to the trailer to put the meat and fish away and I mopped the floors.

We were at our warehouse location today, for the much larger monthly "USDA Day," when we hand out food for which the funding ultimately comes from the feds. We had a lot of leftover produce from last night's service, since Tuesday nights are a newer and less-known program, which was good because it meant a lot of the produce was already organized this morning. That was particularly good because due to coincidence, we were quite shorthanded this morning: Three of us did the set-up today, when there are usually six. A few more people came in later and we served about 100 people today. As the FB Director says, "At the end of the day, ask yourself, 'Did we give food out today?' If the answer is yes, we did our job."

Yesterday I brought my apron home to get it laundered, and then this morning foolishly wore light-colored pants. I just sprayed them all over with stain remover. The warehouse is dusty, I spilled coffee, and got splashed with wet rotting greens, etc. etc. etc. I also broke a can of tonic water and it sprayed all over me (I am so glad it wasn't raspberry soda!).

Every day I think we are not going to be ready to open for service at 1pm, and every day we are. I don't know exactly how that happens, but it always does. We do it all with volunteers.
The food bank, with about 100 volunteers (including the couple dozen on the Board of Directors) and two paid staff, served over 3300 people in the FY 06-07, 51% of whom are under 18 years of age.

I really like my job, and I'm really looking forward to this holiday.

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