We asked the Tuesday Team at the Broad Street Food Pantry to share their insights on what it is like to volunteer at the pantry:
Tom and Vicky Reidy
We pack up groceries for families in need one morning a week and really enjoy it. We think it is as rewarding for us as it is for the people we serve. It’s already a bad day when you start it by visiting the food pantry. Many of our clients are walkers which makes it especially hard in this weather. The expression “I’m sick and tired” takes on new meaning when you serve a woman who has just come from her latest chemo treatment. Or the woman who has just come off third shift and said she was exhausted but had come for her kids. Despite their hardships, everyone is so appreciative and most actually thank us and tell us to have a blessed day. Some of the regulars you get to know which makes for a friendly atmosphere. Won’t you join us, perhaps by volunteering or donating? Needs are up 14% this year and our neighbors we serve really need our help.
I’m an OSU pre-med student interested in helping others in the community. That’s what brought me in the door. The food pantry has a very welcoming atmosphere filled with volunteers passionate to help others despite limited supplies. It was a pleasure to join them and learn about the pantry. I hope to become a regular and come in consistently to help others as well.
It is humbling, but gratifying to volunteer at the Broad Street Food Pantry. As we fill the orders of our clients, as we see their need for something as basic as food, we get a firsthand view of the food insecurity in our community. Seeing and hearing the news reports of this issue doesn’t compare to seeing it in person. God commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Volunteering at the Food Pantry is one of the ways that we can fulfill this command. We fill orders for milk, eggs, meat, oranges, apples, potatoes, onions, and canned goods, to name a few of the available items. The items of food are placed into boxes and bags and loaded into cars, trucks or vans. And for those who walk to the Food Pantry, they are assisted in packing their food into large bags, carts, and sometimes suitcases. Whether we are filling orders, loading food into cars or stocking shelves, all of these activities are expressions of love toward our neighbors. As we finish our shift and head to our cars, we realize that we have been blessed with so much. And the Food Pantry gives us the opportunity to be a blessing to others. Volunteers are always needed, please join us!
Sharon Smith and I are brand-new Broad Streeters who signed up as first-time volunteers. Imagine our surprise when we both showed up on October 11! How good it was to see a familiar face. We haven’t missed a Tuesday since and have become part of a Tuesday morning volunteer community that helps our neighbors put food on their tables. We do so by serving as personal shoppers who fill our drive-through/walk-up clients’ grocery lists. We often don’t personally encounter those we serve, but we know how many are in the household and how many of them are children. Kiddos receive treats, that’s all there is to it! The curbside delivery crew then delivers the grocery-filled carts. We’ve become a well-oiled team.
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we are mindful that we worship a God of abundance who invites us to feed one another. Each time we walk in the pantry’s doors, the biblical story of The Feeding of the 5000 comes to mind. Even on days when items are unavailable due to diminished supplies, there IS more than enough to go around in God’s kingdom—and a treat or two, too!
The shelves are often visibly more empty these days. Seeking a meaningful, God-filled opportunity to serve others? Volunteer opportunities are available between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Monday-Friday. Sign up to help with curbside delivery or parking lot hospitality. Financial contributions are also welcomed.
-Written by the “Tuesday Team” of volunteers at the Broad Street Food Pantry
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