On Saturday morning, August 23, 2014, Christina, Mandy, Cindy, and I volunteered at the Neighborhood Harvest Food Pantry in San Francisco, located in the Inner Richmond district. The event is hosted by the St. John’s Presbyterian Church every Saturday morning and it provides free groceries to neighborhood families/individuals in need. They serve about 280 low-income families weekly, which constitutes about a total of 800 family members! Upon arrival, we were all assigned stations to hand out food at among the line of different stations. Christina and I were assigned to pears, Mandy to small cartons of orange juice, and Cindy to bags of rice. Christina and I had an entertaining time observing the sizes of pears as they ranged from as big as our faces to itty-bitty-sized! Other items being passed out included bulks of carrots, apples, and bread. Once the line of guests were let in, we were kept busy distributing the items.
Most of the guests were seniors and not fluent in English, but it was evident from their smiles, words, and actions that they were grateful for the items they received, which serve as their supplemental groceries to sustain their meals for the week. It was challenging to simultaneously greet guests, distribute quickly to keep the line moving efficiently, as well as ensure that we were passing out fair portions to all based on the ever-changing estimation of the amount of people that were expected to show up that morning. The collective event goal was to have everything distributed by the time the last guest left, which all stations all managed to successfully do! Afterwards, we all helped with putting away the tables and tarps that were set out for the event. The event is made possible every week through the help of volunteers. For more information about the Neighborhood Harvest Food Pantry and volunteer opportunities, please click here.