Why? (Early) Friday Inspiration!

Maybe it’s because I wish it was Friday, maybe it’s because I already have tomorrow’s blog cooking, maybe it’s because I can’t wait to share my experience last night…whatever the reason, you’re getting your dose of Friday Inspiration a day early this week.

Last night, the Ohio Blogging Association hosted a volunteer night at the Cleveland Foodbank.

I was excited to volunteer with this great organization and also drop off my Comments for Cans donation.  Thanks to Green Dog Wine’s idea, over 100 cans of food were donated to the Cleveland Foodbank by Green Dog Wine, Poise in Parma, and myself. 

Before we got to work, we watched a short video on the Cleveland Foodbank’s mission and purpose and got to see the Foodbank’s impressive warehouse.  The Cleveland Foodbank was founded in 1979 and, since that time, has been providing food to area shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries.  In 2010, the Foodbank supplied food to over 600 organizations.

The Cleveland Foodbank's Mission

 The Cleveland Foodbank has many different programs under its umbrella.  The Harvest for Hunger Campaign, running now through April 23 became part of the Cleveland Foodbank in 2003.  To me, one of the most important programs is  BackPacks for Kids.  One-third of the people served by the Cleveland Foodbank are children under 18.  BackPacks for Kids provides children with a backpack full of enough food for 6 meals.  The backpacks are given to the children at the end of the school day on Friday, returned on Monday, and refilled for the next Friday.  It’s a way to ensure better nutrition when the children aren’t getting meals from the school system.

The Cleveland Foodbank Warehouse
Next it was time for us to get to work.  Our volunteer force was made up of CLEbloggers from Hungry in Cleveland, Healthy Heddleston, Finishing Firsts, Cooker Girl, Clue Into Cleveland, Green Dog Wine, and Cuyahoga County Planning Commission Weblog

Our job was repacking.  Many of the donations that come into the Cleveland Foodbank are in bulk form and cannot be used effectively by the shelters and pantries that way.  So, we repacked huge crates of oranges into 6-pound bags, which then went 6 to a box to be shipped out.
My perfect 6-pound bag
The two hours flew by and, with the help of another volunteer group, we repacked 5 large crates of oranges. 
Green Dog Wine shows off her orange-bagging skills
The volunteer coordinator at the Cleveland Foodbank told us that, without volunteers, the Foodbank would need to hire 28 additional full-time employees.  Volunteers truly make the Cleveland Foodbank’s work possible.  I encourage you to spend an evening or two volunteering at the Foodbank.  I’m sure you’ll find it as rewarding an experience as I did.

Also, if you want to donate to the Cleveland Foodbank there are the Super Six items that are most needed: Beef Stew, Canned Soup, Canned Vegetables, Cereal, Peanut Butter, and Tuna Fish.

After our volunteering, we headed over to the always-delicious Grovewood Tavern for dinner.  Our food was wonderful and the conversation – about blogging, CLE, and everything else – was a treat.  Certainly, being able to enjoy such a great meal after volunteering at the Cleveland Foodbank gave us an even greater appreciation for all we have.

This Saturday, Chevy Girls Ohio will be sponsoring a thank you lunch for the volunteers at Aladdin’s.  I won’t be able to attend, but Chevy’s generosity to us and to Harvest for Hunger is certainly appreciated.

During the video we watched, one of the Cleveland Foodbank workers said that she truly believes there is enough food for everyone, the problem is how it’s distributed.  The Cleveland Foodbank seeks to help remedy that problem.  The Cleveland Foodbank is helping CLE-ers to have nutritious food, but more than that, they provide hope and dignity.  Have a great (almost) weekend!  Do something inspiring!

8 Responses

  1. This is a wonderful recap. I’m so incredibly bummed that my silly car kept me from attending, but it looks like you all had a fabulous time helping a great cause.

    …now I gotta get those 35 cans of peas to the Foodbank somehow!!!

  2. John

    Great place to volunteer. I have volunteeed there the past three years with work’s corporate volunteer day. Always feel like I’ve accomplished something when done there. Great organization!

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