Last night I joined several other Cleveland bloggers as volunteers at The Cleveland Foodbank thanks to the Ohio Blogging Association. I felt very fortunate to have this opportunity and give back to the community. In high school, I would volunteer monthly at St. Tim's Hunger Center and was really excited to be once again helping the hungry. After a brief orientation we learned most of those who are served are the elderly, children, and the working poor. All of the food and donations stay right here in the northeastern Ohio area, specifically the counties of Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Ashtabula, Ashland, and Richland. With the mission of "to alleviate hunger by providing food and support to community organizations that feed the hungry," over 30 millions pounds of food were distributed to over 600 agencies last year alone with much of the food being donated.
The main warehouse
With that being said, volunteers are needed to sort and repackage items before they are distributed. However, we were told you may end up doing something different every time you go to volunteer. Our project for the night, along with another group of volunteers, was sorting and packaging oranges. By the end of the night, we bagged and boxed 5 huge bins of oranges into 6 pound bags with each box containing six bags. Between our amazing group of bloggers (Katie,CLEgal, Amanda, Allison, Sarah, Kali, and Kevin) and the other volunteer group, time flew by and it was time to leave. I do plan on returning again though.
6.00 pounds exactly!
As I was separating the good oranges from the bad ones, I could not help but realize how fortunate I truly am. I know there always will be fresh fruit to take in my lunch or have for a snack, but there are many throughout Cleveland alone who are lucky to be getting the oranges we were bagging. I write this blog because I love food and it has become one of my hobbies. I am ashamed to admit that sometimes I forget how there are people right here in northeastern Ohio that go to bed hungry every night. Currently, the Cleveland Foodbank is participating in Harvest for Hunger which will exceed the Foodbanks 6 counties and provide for 23 counties in Ohio. I am asking you to consider volunteering or donating to Harvest for Hunger or The Cleveland Foodbank. If you are wondering what they need the most, consider making a donation of the "Super Six": peanut butter, canned veggies, tuna, cereal, soup, and beef stew. How easy is it to grab an extra of just one of these items the next time you are at the store? Also, Harvest for Hunger has partnered with Gotta Love Chevy NEO. For each like on their Facebook page, a donation will be made to Harvest for Hunger. Helping the hungry can be as simple as a click of your mouse.
I just found irony in this sign on the door to the sorting/packing area
Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger (and help fulfill others hunger too).