I am Ashley, a third year college student. During the summer, I volunteered at Food Thanks, an organization that collects food from restaurants and food producers, prepares or repacks them and delivers them to charities or shelters or to homeless people who need food the most.
When I started, I already knew exactly the kind of work that they were doing. However, I never had any idea of the impact that it would have on me and on my life. I started my first day joining the food trucks and collecting food from our various partner restaurants and food producers. The collecting part was easy, people just gave us lots of excess food. I never knew that restaurants can actually have that much excess in a day. I also never knew that groceries and food producers will be giving out so much available produce because they cannot anymore sell it the following day. I also met a lot of the food packers and cooks during the first day. They were the ones in charge of checking the food if they were still edible, repacking them and cooking them in order to extend their shelf life. It was all so very fascinating.
But I was really humbled when I met the beneficiaries. I was sheltered my whole life so I didn’t know that there could be a lot of people living on the streets, homeless, and without any money to buy food. I was so glad that I could help them by helping pack the food and distributing it to them. I know that what I did was not really that much. But it gave me a lot of fulfillment. Now, I know what I want to do when I graduate. I want to be part of a charity that can really help the poorest people. My gratitude to Food Thanks for opening my eyes and making me realize that I can contribute what I can to uplift people’s lives even for just a little bit.