One of the cool things that’s happened as we’ve begun a food-rescue platform is that I’ve had the chance to perform many of the food-rescues myself. I’ve told a few people recently who are toying with the idea of becoming a “food-runner” for Community Plates, “try it once and you’ll want to do it again and again.” I speak from experience.
The benefits to the 100 thousand food-insecure people we are currently trying to serve and over 50 million we hope to serve over the next few years are obvious, but when I talk about getting “addicted” to food-running I’m speaking more about the way it benefits the one who performs the food-rescue; the volunteer.
There is a intrinsic benefit to the volunteer built into the food-rescue process. In a word, it’s community. Now I know the dictionary defines community as a group of people who have something in common; geography, culture, interests etc. But what I have in mind is something more personal…more shared.
First of all, I look forward to seeing the people that I see on my regular runs, and I think that most of them look forward to seeing me. When I walk through a restaurant kitchen and give a shout-out to the crew there or when I’m hanging out briefly on the loading dock at a grocery store, it’s more than just familiarity that makes us enjoy seeing each other, but the ongoing-realization that we are sharing something or joining together in accomplishing something important.
When I was away recently it all become clear. I realized that these generous people, our donors who give and our partners who receive and distribute the food are becoming friends, and I missed seeing them. And they’re not just “nodding-acquaintances” like you might run into on the elevator every day, but these are friends that are working with me to make a difference.
I can’t wait for my food-rescue runs later today!!! Give it a try and you’ll do it again and again.