At St. Mary's Food Bank

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"I see that everyone has closed toed shoes, so I’ll take you all to your work.”
My first impression as we were riding the packed school bus arriving at St. Mary’s Food Bank was that this place was enormous. We entered one of the rooms fill with tables and chairs that looked like a meeting room. A woman was explaining to the teachers and students what our jobs were and making sure that everyone wore appropriate shoes.

Walking over to the boxes where the food was stored, one of the workers was splitting us up into three groups. One group built the boxes, the second group packed the boxes with cans and bags of food, and the third group stacked the boxes up. I was placed in the second group,, packing the boxes with bags or cans of beans. This was going to be a piece of cake.

I was wondering what volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank meant. This was my first time being here. I chose volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank because I knew that there were people out there that have nothing to eat. I also chose to volunteer because it is important to include when applying for universities.

My partner and I started right away. The boxes were sliding and we quickly snatched two medium sized bean bags from the big box behind us and placed it inside the sliding boxes. I could hear someone shouting “more tape on the boxes because they are falling apart.” It was definitely a workplace environment with everyone rushing. The line of boxes started to accelerate.

Our hands got quicker. Soon enough we could not reach the bottom of the huge box behind us that contained the beans. I was forced to stand on top of the metal bar and stretched as over as far as I could to snatch cans for my partner who was placing them in the boxes. We practiced this technique a million times until it was time fro the ten minute break.

We have been working for an hour but it felt extremely short. We all sat down in the lunch are filled with vending machine. There was a small Christmas tree and few presents underneath it at the back of the room. It was freezing in there. I picked up a water bottle because my throat felt dry as a desert. We chit-chatted for sometime but it was time to go back to work for another hour.

We continued to do the same routine until one of the workers told us to stop. Finally we all hold in our breath as the last box was stacked. The school newspaper staff took pictures of us. It truly was an enjoyable experience.

Volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank was like having a real job that you enjoyed. I remember the worker telling us that they have been working at St. Mary’s Food Bank since three this morning which made me have more respect for the workers. I was glad of being there and able to help them. I was also satisfied with my work knowing that a family or someone would be receiving those boxes fully packed.

This definitely was an experience I would live through again. Volunteering at St. Mary’s Food Bank made me a better person because I am willing to help out more. Volunteering makes a person feel valuable as gold. I am planning to go back in the future.





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