Yesterday I had the opportunity to pair up with Community Plates’ Executive Director Kevin Mullins for my first run. Kevin had sent the volunteers a list of open ‘runs’ [a run is the pickup of food from a store or restaurant and delivering it to a local shelter (a runner makes these runs)] and Tuesday had an open run to Trader Joe’s in Darien needing 2 people. I emailed Kevin asking him if I could team up with him for this run and met him at his office prior to the 2:30 pm pickup.
I have to admit, my motives for wanting to do this run with Kevin were twofold: 1) I wanted to go with someone who has done these runs before; and 2) I wanted to learn more about CP.
My expectations were that we’d pick up food and drop it off at a shelter, but I experienced a lot more. I thought Community Plates won the lotto as Trader Joes’ staff brought out bin after bin of amazing items such as chicken sausage, ground meats and rib-eye steaks. Other bins had wonderful produce and cereals. Because of this generous donation , CP was able to drop off food at both Person-to-Person in Darien, CT and Open Door Shelter in Norwalk, CT feeding a lot of people in need.
In addition to just making a run, I got to meet Janet and Alex at Person-to-Person and Open Door Shelter, experiencing their gratitude and also the friendliness of the staff at Trader Joe’s. It was obvious that the labor of filling up the 9 or 10 bins of great food was something they were happy to do for CP. I think helping others is infectious, but in a good way.
While driving from the various locations, one of the most memorable conversations with Kevin was discussing the rib-eye steaks. For many, buying a rib-eye is not something you really give a lot of thought to. You may wait for them to go on sale if on a budget, but for the recipients who will benefit from this pick-up, imagine their surprise. Imagine being transported from a basic meal of pasta, rice, or beans and enjoying a decadent rib-eye steak. If, only for that one meal, a person struggling can feel pampered as the result of a runner taking 1 hour out of their day to pick up and drop off food. — Joan