Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's not like a grocery store.

Eldest Daughter and I volunteered at a food pantry today. I expected something akin to the Costco shopping experience: a small, albeit well-stocked, warehouse where patrons gather what they need then skip the checkout part.

It's not exactly like that.

The pantry is four small rooms in a church: a reception area, the pantry, a storage room for government-provided food and a storage room for community and restaurant donations. Patrons enter the reception area two at a time for confidentiality. The greeter reviews their paperwork to see what they are eligible for. Then the greeter / customer service agent goes to the pantry to retrieve their food products for the two-week period. It's generally a Basic Bag, some frozen chicken and a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables. Apparently the government dictates the contents. Who knew?! And then it's all logged in the computer.

Eldest Daughter and I assembled more than a hundred Basic Bags today -- two cans of tuna, one bag of pasta, one bag of rice, one can of soup, one can of corn, one can of mixed vegetables, one can of applesauce and one can of beans. And then we did some paperwork. And then we broke 50 lb bags of potatoes, like the one you see above, into 2 lb bags.

The volunteers there could not have been nicer and we had fun while doing it. But it was an eye opener to me.

4 comments:

Tristan said...

What a great experience for both you and your daughter!

Postcards From The Hedge said...

will your food people accept home-grown fruits and vegetables? Jill

孝齊孝齊 said...

恨一個人,比原諒一個人,更傷力氣。..................................................................

Polka Dot Moon said...

Our Boy Scout Troop did it last year. Definitely an eye opener; but something I think we should all experience.