By: Elizabeth Stahl, Communication Intern
Picture this for me, if you will. You do not have enough food to get you through the week, let alone the month. You decide to go to a Mobile Market. You enter a room and are handed two grocery bags. You stand patiently in a line of many. You reach tables of produce and food, and are then handed a select number of each item. You place the six bananas, the four boxes of granola, the single bag of lettuce, into your grocery bags and proceed further down the line. Taking anything and everything that the volunteers handed you, you reach the end of the line, and head home. You sit and plan out how you are going to make this one package of raspberries last until the end of next week. You plan how you are going to make a bag of fresh green beans feed your family for the rest of the week. You are thankful for what help you received.
This week's adventure to Wake Forest for Elizabeth's Friday Full of Fun opened my eyes to new experiences. I am grateful that I was able to attend and see Inter-Faith Food Shuttle's food distribution first hand.
I attended a Mobile Food Market in Wake Forest earlier this week. A large, refrigerated truck was filled with produce and other boxed food items and taken to Wake Forest Baptist Church, a monthly event which started last June. Twenty volunteers unloaded the produce and set it out onto tables, placing numbered labels in front of each item. These numbers told individuals how many of each particular item they are allowed to take, to ensure that each person could receive food. They were able to choose which items they accepted, different from programs where people take what they can get. I got to step on the line and distribute food, four small boxes of granola to each individual. Some were elderly, some were quite young, but everyone was gracious. The continuous line of diverse individuals flowed through the church for an hour then the food was gone. The volunteers cleaned up the tables, broke down the cardboard boxes, and said a simple until next month. Endless “thank yous” were heard during my two-hour visit. Everyone was just appreciative that we were even there. This room full of gratitude served about ninety people that day.
In my mind, our produce and our food made a difference in the lives of many. Also in my mind, we as a community, can do more. More funding, more volunteers, more produce - “more, more, more, I want more.” We hear this all the time in several aspects of life. If we alter that sentence slightly and focus on food insecure individuals, “they need more,” then as a community we can work together to put those needs in front of our own. Picture yourself again, as someone who must go through a mobile market line just to scrape by. Wouldn’t you value any and all help?
Many thanks to Becky Holt, the coordinator of this Mobile Market, who allowed me to observe and who also gave me these photographs.