Thursday, November 17, 2016

Newest Team Member takes on Mobile Foodshare

Carissa, a VISTA volunteer and the newest member of our Communications team, had an opportunity to ride along on a Mobile Foodshare truck. She had this to share about her experience:

“This morning I visited the Charter Oak Community Health Center with Mobile Foodshare driver, Gary Sherwood.We started off the run by loading the truck with fresh produce, bread, and pasta salad using forklifts from our warehouse. Once that process was completed, we closed up the truck doors, filled out the necessary paperwork for inventory, inspected the vehicle to make sure it was safe, and headed to Hartford. Gary and I chatted about our personal lives as well as people he’s met through the mobile sites that might be willing to share their experience with me. As we approached Charter Oak, there was already a crowd bent around the corner in anticipation.
Gary explained that it was always interesting squeezing the truck into the parking lot with all of the people and cars there, but once we parked, it would go smoothly.

Before I even opened my door, a crew of volunteers had already begun setting up the tables around the truck and unloading some of the boxes. I positioned myself at the end of the line handing out loaves of honey wheat bread, and our 350+ guests began coming through the line to receive whatever they needed. Leftover boxes were stacked for our clients to use for their groceries. The young man beside me effortlessly worked through his interactions in both English and Spanish, stacking unfilled boxes and grabbing full ones from the compartment behind us. What struck me about him is that he was also a client himself! His shopping cart was positioned next to the table with his own possessions inside. He wasn’t the only one either. Other volunteers came through the line to pick up what was left. What big, generous hearts they have!

Once our appointment was over and the remaining equipment was packed away, another volunteer approached me to talk about the significant impact this mobile site, as well as the others in the area, have on the people. They are always grateful for Foodshare’s services, he said, whether it was our dedicated SNAP office or the trucks. On our drive back to Foodshare, Gary pointed out the other nearby sites that will be visited.

Upon our return, he replenished the compartments with goods from the warehouse and replenished the disposable gloves while I compacted the remaining boxes and cleared out any garbage to make sure that the new pallets would fit and the food would be safely transported. Overall this was a successful, fun, and eye-opening trip, and I am so grateful I was able to experience it.”

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