While visiting my grandparents in Jay, Oklahoma I was offered the opportunity to volunteer at a local food bank drop off and pick up. There were about two dozen people helping and the food was provided by Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
A huge truck dropped off 6 or 7 pallets stacked up to 6 feet high with food. Several of us were assigned the task of separating the food from boxes into small bags. On the pallet I worked we put 6 random items of food, from crackers and rice to soup cans and cookies, into each bag. It got hot in the sun, but overall we had a good time chatting and joking.
After an hour and a half of packing food, the cars started lining up to receive their bags. There was produce, canned foods, drinks, bread, and snacks for everyone who came. We loaded the food into truck beds, trunks, and backseats. The whole event from start to finish lasted about 4 hours.
I talked with the delivery driver about his work with the food bank. He told me that in the beginning they mostly gave out fresh produce, but slowly that dried up as more boxed and canned food took over. In an attempt to offer more fresh vegetables and fruit they have started a small garden at their center and are partnering with local growers.
LIke most of the country, hunger is a serious issue and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma provides more than 335,000 meals of food each week while serving 24 counties. They partner with after school programs and senior services and offer cooking classes for creating healthier meals. You can learn more and get involved at OKFoodBank.org
Do you like to volunteer or have you formed a group to create sustainable change in your community? Share your volunteer experience by sending us a message through the Contact Page or in a comment below. We will publish your story on our Volunteer Story Page and may contact you for an interview in an upcoming book.