Fun at the Food Bank

This morning I managed to wrangle in 12 of my friends to volunteer at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.  I know we probably all have ‘better’ things to do on a Saturday morning, like read the paper, run errands, or recover from a late night out, but it feels really great to get up early and do something productive that helps the community.

When you spend 3 hours at the food bank working at rather mindless tasks, chatting with your friends and listening to awesome 80’s tunes on the radio it whips by.  I’ve volunteered a few times now, and consider myself quite the expert can sorter (sorting cans is the quintessential food bank task).  You have to pay attention to expiry dates, protein content and look for the difference between a dent and a pinch.  In the process of sorting you come across all kinds of crazy things.  A few favourites from today were:

  • Canned ‘grass jelly’
  • Whole peanuts packed in oil (that looked like something fro a sci-fi movie)
  • S’mores topping (didn’t know that existed)
  • Canned tuna that was clearly from the 70’s

We also found a tea service package that someone had prepared.  There was a glass plate, a package of napkins, short bread cookies and a box of tea wrapped in tissue.  It warmed my heart to think of some little old lady going to all that trouble.  And then there are the less thoughtful things, like a bag full of loose black lentils with a half empty bottle of mustard oil in it, along with bits of something hard and dried.   I guess some people don’t realize the difference between garbage and a donation.

But at at the end of the morning, we looked back on all that we’d accomplished and felt proud and happy.  In my mind, there’s really no better way to spend a Saturday morning.  IIf you’re interested in getting involved contact your local food bank and see how you can help out!  And if getting up early and getting your hands dirty isn’t your thing, you can always make a donation.  For every $1 in cash you donate, the food bank can buy $3 in food because they’re such a high volume purchaser.

There’s lots of ways you can help:


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