“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,”
— Isaiah 58:7, quoted on a banner in the church
On a brisk and sunny January afternoon I went to the bank, The Oregon Food Bank.
Together with my co-workers Bob and Alex, we became a part of the bank’s large distribution network. Our job was to organize and transport the food from the Oregon Food Bank across the street to the True Life church to get to families.
It was a nice opportunity to get a closer look at how the process works. After a short prep at the church, we rode across the street in the back of a pickup. There, waiting for us in one of the cleanest distribution areas I’ve ever seen, were two pallets of food, well-boxed and clearly marked with bar-coded labels.
After loading them into the pickup truck and ogling the coolest freezer door I’d ever seen (check out the 9-second video), we were back unloading, sorting and organizing 1500 pounds of food.
Boxes of canned beans, frozen turkeys, cookies, drinks, and every kind of packaged food you could imagine were opened, emptied, stacked, and stuffed. We had a heck of a time getting everything to fit in the freezers but somehow it did.
“This food bank is just one of many in the state,” Bob told me when I asked about the close proximity of the church to the food bank. “They want the church to help distribute the food since the warehouse isn’t equipped to handle individuals. We work together to get food to the people who need it.”
As we finished our work, we talked about what it takes to live on $10/hour, the independence that working provides, and how a few groceries can really make a difference to a working mom who’s got rent, food and childcare to manage.
Teamwork. The combination of a well-organized distribution system coupled with some able-bodied volunteers helps put food into the mouths of children and families who need it.
Teamwork is what co-workers do everyday.
Today, thanks to the Oregon Food Bank, the True Life church, and some muscle, three co-workers got to do a little different type of teamwork.
Learned a little about the Oregon Food Bank and got to see some of the good work my co-worker is doing in the community.
** Bob also told me that there is a real need for disposable diapers. Because day cares require them, the parents have to spend a lot of money in addition to child care costs. It’s yet another hurdle.
If you can help out with a diaper donation, please let me know and I’ll see they get to the church.
Hi! I am the director of the True Life Food Pantry. Thank you so much for posting this amazing depiction of your experience. We founded the pantry 2 years ago when OFB became our neighbor. It takes a lot of work to run, but well worth every personal and financial sacrafice. Every time we open those doors to serve our community I am constantly reminded of how I am blessed as much as, if not more than, those we have the great privilege of helping. And, it’s all because of people like you that we have been so successful in continuing to do so. So, again, thank you, thank you, thank you! Please contact me if you would like to volunteer to distribute the food on Saturdays. In His service-Lisa Villagomez.
You are most welcome, Lisa.
It does take a great effort of organization, desire and muscle to make it work. As I discovered!
I’m sure I’ll be back to help out. At minimum, I’m happy to help Bob set things up again over a lunch hour. And maybe if I’ve got a Saturday free too.
Thanks for your kind comments, and your efforts!
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