Being here is…


Being here is trying to divide 350 1L cartons of milk between 700 families.

Being here is seeing someone excited to get a tooth-brush but not being able to give them toothpaste.

Being here is seeing someone get excited about getting last years Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

Being here is watching someone leave food behind because they can’t carry it.

Being here is seeing someone get excited because you have a backpack you can give them so they can carry all of their food home.

Being here is celebrating a volunteers birthday.

Being here is seeing the disappointment in someone’s face when you tell them we have no stale bread to give them for the second day in a row.

Being here is having a 5 year old ask you if they can give you a hug after delivering a box of food to her family.

Being here is seeing people excited about free used clothing.

Being here is meeting someone one week who’s excited they found the a nice shirt and then meeting them again the following week and seeing how much more excited they are to have found the matching pants and completing the outfit.

Being here is deciding which day of the week we will give out peanut butter, and if we will have enough to share with everyone who comes in that day.

Being here is wondering if the food delivery truck will be full or empty before the driver opens the door.

Being here is sometimes the ability to choose how many bins of fresh corn you can receive from a donor a week.  (Thanks Trevor!)

Being here is having to negotiate with people, who don’t want to be “too greedy”, to take more food before it goes bad and we have to compost/throw it out.

Being here is having to throw out rotten food because not enough people came in that week, and because it only had a day or two of life left in it when we received it, in the first place.

Being here is having the ability to hand out fresh fruits and vegetables most days.

Being here is giving out oversized cauliflower heads just because they’re seconds.

Being here is not having enough food to give to everyone who is coming in.

Being here is being busier than expected, giving more food in the morning, and less in the middle of the day, so you don’t run out of food for the last few families that will come to us for help just before we close.


(Thanks to John Scalzi for the inspiration and all the staff at the food Hamper Program for sharing their insights.)

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2 Responses to “Being here is…”

  1. Matt Cooper Says:

    These statements apply to more programs than the Emergency Food Hamper Program… We would love to hear from other people, volunteers, staff and participants. What does this, or other programs, mean to you? What is it like to use them? Volunteer? Donate? Visit?

    Please comment and share what you have to say!

  2. Diana Says:

    Wow, a touching blog – really provides a feel for what happens there.

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