We never actually “served food,” but I think this deed still counts.
Today’s good deed: SERVE FOOD AT A FOOD BANK
The last time I volunteered at the L.A. Food Bank I came with my church group. This time I came by myself. I felt a little lonesome at first, but I’ve discovered that most volunteers are decent folk. You don’t find too many assholes volunteering. I was positive I’d meet some nice people.
They divided us up into 2 groups: one sorting produce and the other sorting bread. I opted to sort bread. I didn’t want to get my fingers chilled on cold produce. Clearly I hadn’t had enough morning coffee.
My group was given the task to sort bread into 3 categories: sliced bread, flavored breads and donuts, and buns. Bread was thrown away if it was past the given expiration date or if it didn’t have a nutritional value label. I was in charge of assembling the boxes for all the assorted loaves on my bread line … the Box Biatch as it were.
Right away I met some very sweet people including Charlie, a biology major from Santa Monica College. He was the Box Biatch on his line. He had been here many times before. He was studying to be a doctor. I couldn’t help but think how lucky his future patients would be.
A supervisor named David stopped by to thank all of the volunteers. He told us 10,000 children around the world die from starvation each day. 10,000 children. He called us heroes for helping out. I didn’t feel like a hero, but I was glad I was volunteering.
Another man stopped by whom I thought was a supervisor, but he was just there to hit on me. I couldn’t blame him. I do look quite sexy surrounded by carbs.
There was also a super model gorgeous Japanese volunteer “working” in my group. I could tell she wasn’t used to working. Every time I moved my newly formed boxes to their filling station she was standing around doing nothing. I kept ‘accidentally’ hitting her with boxes. It made me very happy.
During a short break a few guys went dumpster diving for expired donuts. They found a few and were eating them with relish. I almost joined them; I could always use a donut. How ironic it was that they had so much fun doing what so many individuals had to do every day.
All told, 280 volunteers sorted and packaged 30,000 lbs. of bread and 77,000 lbs. of produce in roughly 3 hours. Many people in need were going to eat because of our participation.
There is a joy in knowing I helped accomplish so much. It’s a feeling of pride mixed with gratitude and humility. And maybe a tiny bit of what a hero feels like.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Jarkko Laine