April 11, 2013

90 Minutes Volunteering

The Idaho Foodbank
Today was kind of cool because I was given the opportunity to put in a couple volunteer hours at the Idaho Food Bank as part of a drive put together by the Human Resources Association of Treasure Valley (HRATV).  I'm a member of the HRATV even though I'm not working in the field (yet).

A couple of weeks ago the HRATV sent out an email asking for volunteers to work today.  I knew I'd be free (funny how unemployment frees up your schedule) so I spoke up.  Then I found out that it was only for a two hour shift.  Two hours didn't seem like much.....and actually ended up being closer to 90 minutes.

The Idaho Food Bank helps a lot of people and I found it interesting that they pretty much turn over their entire inventory every 35 days.  I was told that April & May are their lean times and I did notice the warehouse was far from full.

Our job today was supposed to be basic donation sorting, but what we ended up doing was forming an assembly line to fill up 506 "backpacks" of food.  These "backpacks" are six meals designed to feed a kids over the weekend, most likely a child who depends on free school breakfast and lunch for the majority of their nutrition.  I keep using quotes around "backpacks" because we really were just filling up plastic bags with food.  The kids already have the backpacks, we were just filling out ration bags that go into those backpacks.

You can read more about the Backpack program here (or maybe watch the video).

I'd love to be able to say that I felt good about myself for helping those that are less fortunate, but honestly I'm somewhat neutral on the subject.  It was a task that needed doing and I helped do it.  Sorry, but 2 hours of volunteering isn't going to peg my self-esteem meter.  If the Food Bank wasn't on the far side of town for me I'd think about helping out more often.

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