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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Give a little time: Volunteer at your local food bank

Three nights ago I attended another volunteer food sort at the Second Harvest Food Bank. For their December meeting the Silicon Valley chapter of the wedding and event organization NACE (the National Association of Catering Executives) decided to ask people to donate some time volunteering to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Remember the last time I did this we sorted tangerines? It was hard work but also fun and so aromatic.

Bins of oranges waiting to be bagged.

When you volunteer at a food sort there are two types of jobs. The first is sorting packaged food donations. The second is bagging fresh produce.

We were in charge of bagging these huge bins of fresh carrots. As soon as you walked into the room it smelled carrottey. Carrotie? Carrotea? LOL

There were a LOT of carrots.

We started here. We had to fill as many of these huge empty boxes as we could with bags filled with 3 lbs of carrots.

Ready. Set. GO!

I packaged one bag of carrots and immediately commented it was kind of hard to tie the bag in a knot wearing latex gloves. So then I was asked to take off my gloves and tie all the bags for everyone! LOL. I did have help which was great because there was no way I could have done it by myself.

As the boxes were emptied the sides were cut down to make it easier to reach the carrots. But me? I was busy spinning bags and tying knots at the speed of light. I literally tied hundreds and hundreds of knots.

There were 225 bags of carrots in each big box.

So how did we do? At the end of our two hour shift we'd bagged and boxed 900 bags of carrots! That's 2700 lbs! Awesome!

That's me doing my best snowman impersonation.

And once again it was a great feeling knowing we'd helped the food bank. We were told that volunteer food sorters save the food bank $5.7 milllion dollars each year since they don't have to pay employees to do the work!

Our team included (left to right) Robbie Schlosser from the Magnolia Jazz Band, Natti Pierce-Thomson from North American Theater Technology, Robert Kusters from Silicon DJ, our non-wedding professional friend Silvi, Claudia Akers from Claudia Akers Photography, Rich Amooi from Hey Mr. DJ, Lindsay Catterton from The Wild Geranium and Carl Mindling from I MC Events. Not pictured was photographer Jim Vetter who got caught in a massive rush hour traffic jam that turned his 90 minute commute to the food bank into a 3 hour drive, so he got there to help, just late after we'd taken our group photo.

To locate a food bank where you live CLICK HERE to visit the Feeding America website.

To support the Santa Clara and San Mateo, CA Second Harvest Food Banks use the links below:

Donate Funds:
If you want to donate to help support the Second Harvest Food Bank you can CLICK HERE to donate online (95¢ of every $1 donated goes directly toward programs that feed hungry people) or drop off food at one of the two warehouses in San Jose and San Carlos, CA.

Donate Food:
Click the links below for information about how to donate food at a Second Harvest warehouse or lobby during business hours. If you have questions or need assistance you can call 1-866-234-3663 or email donor.relations@shfb.org

Santa Clara County Distribution Center
750 Curtner Avenue, San Jose CA 95125
Phone: (408) 266-8866
Holiday Hours

San Mateo County Distribution Center
1051 Bing Street, San Carlos, CA 94070
Phone: (650) 610-0800
Holiday Hours

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