11 December 2010
first week of volunteering at food lifeline: a smashing success
It’s been a rockin’ first week volunteering at Food Lifeline. I love the people I’m working with and the rotating cast of kind-hearted volunteers and court mandated community service characters that roll through the Shoreline warehouse. I started the week inspecting and repacking grocery rescue produce. In real people speak, that’s nearly expired donations from several local grocery retailers, including Fred Meyer, Whole Foods and Amazon.com. Foodstuffs have ranged from chanterelle mushrooms and vegetable and dip combo platters to very ripe avocados and heirloom tomatoes. Potatoes, apples, bagged lettuces and pre-cut fruit reign supreme, with the latter in past expiration abundance. It’s humbling to play a part in feeding so many needy
Western Washington families and inspiring to see the volume of food that is processed at Food Lifeline with such meticulous care.
Parker Staffing Services and Tiffany of Carbzilla joined the food-packing festivities on Tuesday; Tiffany even returned again on Thursday. Later in the week, I was “promoted” to processing dairy and have even been entrusted to train a handful of new volunteers. Physically, it’s been an exhausting week, moving and packing boxes ranging from 25-40 lbs., hauling, weighing and disposing of heavy compost bins, and working on my feet for several consecutive hours in a fast paced warehouse setting, but I absolutely love it.
In other news, my beloved 1992 Nissan Maxima went to car heaven last weekend after one final road trip to Vancouver, B.C., so I was forced to learn how to navigate King County Metro. Riding the bus is no big deal for most urbanites, but I am not well-versed in Seattle’s public transportation system and the prospect of taking the bus (including a - gasp! - transfer) instilled panic that I’ve never experienced in all my third world ground transportation travels. Go figure. So as a freelancer who’s worked from home for the past 12 years, never had structure or a schedule to abide by and has limited public transportation experience, I am proud of myself for getting myself to Food Lifeline every day this week via bus and on time. Maybe I wore repeat outfits this week and showed up with wet hair, but volunteering really isn’t about looking pretty. It’s about productivity and all of the volunteers at Food Lifeline kick ass. I am so happy that for December, I get to play some small part in Food Lifeline’s annual goal of delivering 24 million meals to hungry families in