Our communications guru, Kara, made her first trip to our Common Cupboard at Mill Grove this week and is eager to share about her experience.
After hearing so many inspiring and encouraging stories about the Common Cupboard at Mill Grove food pantry, I knew I would enjoy my time there Monday. But I didn't expect to walk away with so many stories of my own to share.
I was there -- camera at the ready -- to take photos for our annual newspaper and Facebook page. I snapped away as volunteers sorted and organized food on tables in preparation for those in need to "shop" for what they wanted. Bread goes here, fruit and veggies there, desserts over there. There was yogurt and juice, too. Everyone got their choice of meats and could also choose between eggs or pizza. No one left without some nonperishables, too.
After the "shopping" started, I was pleased to be able to put the camera away and help out in small ways, like helping people search for the kinds of bread they liked. I enjoyed sifting through the wrapped loaves donated by local grocery stores in search of particular favorites: pumpernickel, rye, sliced whole wheat for sandwiches, bagels for breakfast. Oh and did we have any tortillas? We did, but they were buried and it took some digging to get to them.
Asking people "What kind of bread do you like?" as they approached the table was, I think, unconsciously a way for me to tell these neighbors in need that I am no different from them. Though they may be struggling to buy groceries, they have likes and dislikes, too. They have favorite flavors and I wanted to help them find items they would enjoy.
Before I stationed myself at the bread table, I was standing just inside the doorway waiting for things to begin. I was approached by a local senior woman who said it was her first time at the Cupboard and she didn't know what she was supposed to do. She seemed hesitant, maybe even a bit nervous. I shared that it was my first time there, too, and I had no idea what the process was. We both laughed together.
Of course, we found fellow volunteer, Rick, who got her squared away. On her way out, I asked "So, what did you think?" She replied "I loved it! I want to volunteer!"
Someone who came for help herself wants to help us
My only regret is that I didn't go see what all the fuss was about sooner.
Want to serve on Monday nights? Fill out our volunteer application here: http://thecommonplace.org/#/volunteer-donate/volunteer