Hello Food Shuttle’s blog readers! My name is Julia and I am a new intern for the Food Shuttle this semester with the communications department (Jason and CeCe). Friday was my first official day on the job and I started my experience by riding in one of the recovery trucks with two of Food Shuttle’s faithful volunteers – Jack and Jerry. The two of them were kind enough to let me join in on their weekly Friday route to four Harris Teeters, a Lowes Foods, Starbucks, KFC and the Fresh Market in the North Raleigh area. As a first time “food recoverer” I was not sure what I was getting myself into. What I realized from the beginning is that this is a very dedicated group of individuals who go out on these recovery runs. The morning begins at 8 AM and you can be out on the road until almost 1 or 2 in the afternoon! And you’re not just driving around picking up food - you have to drive to each store and go in and take a shopping cart or two (or three or four!) full of all sorts of left over food that these stores can’t sell, but is just perfectly fine to eat. Once you get back out to the truck, you have to sort it between breads, produce, meats and whatever else you may have received, and then pack it all into boxes and weigh the items. With the stores that are very generous, this sorting and packing process can take quite some time. Then, when you get back to the Food Shuttle’s warehouse, you may even have to unload the entire truck and store all of the food!
After almost 6 hours of that one can imagine that you get tired, especially during the extreme summer heat or the winter’s cold and rainy weather (as it was this morning). I, however, found myself in great company and the time flew by! Jack and Jerry are two of the most talkative and friendly people I have met, which is perfect for me, because I am a communication major at NC State – aka, I love to interact with and talk to people. We found that the three of us have a lot in common, despite the major age difference. We all love music, art, the theater, and to travel, especially in Europe. We even found a common love for Swedish food! Jerry grew up in a mostly Swedish neighborhood in Chicago, Jack traveled to Gothenburg to purchase a Volvo, and I am half-Swedish so I travel there quite often. Needless to say, despite all of the hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the truck and can’t wait to see what else is in store for me this semester!