by Maureen McNair
Every Friday morning, the Smart & Final on Main Street in Chula Vista gives us the opportunity to ask if they have a food donation for our pantry. Sometimes, the store has nothing to give. Sometimes, they will have a hundred pounds or so of meat. Volunteers will drive to the store in their cars, pick up the donation, dispose of meat in trays that have been punctured, and stash the rest in our freezers. Not so this past Friday.
Last Friday, I phoned the Smart & Final crew. They said they had about 1,600 pounds of corn on the cob to give us. This is a B I N G O ! from the point of view of food distribution for the hundreds of people we feed every Saturday. But, the pantry does not own a truck. So organizing transportation is always tricky. In this case, I was going to have to ﬁgure out how to get 36 huge boxes — each packed with 48 ears of corn — from the grocery store to the pantry. And, then, someone was going to have to lift all those boxes from vehicles for overnight storage inside the social hall where the pantry is still squatting.
We already had two volunteers from the wider community at the pantry early Friday morning, but we all own passenger vehicles. I scooted over to the Smart & Final receiving area to ﬁnd out just how many boxes of corn would ﬁt inside my car.
Like many of you, I own a Prius. As you know, the Prius is like Dr. Who’s Tardis because it is larger on the inside. So, I was optimistic. The answer, in case you ever need this information, is seven. Seven boxes of corn on the cob ﬁt inside a Prius.
So, last Friday morning, community volunteers Bruce, Hilde, and I shuttled back and forth between the Smart & Final receiving yard and the pantry, lifting, transporting, then lifting boxes of corn again.
The South Bay Food Pantry does not charge for its gym membership.
I do not want to leave you with the impression, however, that last
week’s produce distribution was only about corn on the cob. Because our awesome volunteers went through this same process with another donor from which we picked up about 1,500 carrots, 1,500 onions, and several hundred sweet potatoes. I stopped counting.
So, really, this past week, the food pantry enjoyed a produce distribution bonanza.
And, tomorrow, the third Friday of the month, produce acquisition will be a charm because we are getting a donation from Feeding San Diego. And you know what? They deliver!
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