by Maureen McNair
Imagine my surprise earlier this month when Feeding San Diego asked me to train people wanting to start new food pantries. Only two years ago this month, I was a newbie, traipsing around Chula Vista with Rev. Andrea Travers, a facilitator for Beloved Conversations and the South Bay Wisdom Circle. We were gathering information about food insecurity from local social service agencies.
I have met lots of food pantry managers who have been running pantries for decades. I continue to learn a lot from their expertise. And, our volunteers just started to clean out a closet-sized junk room at our South Bay campus in December 2019 that would be the start of our food pantry. So, we have been operating less than two years.
But, at the request of Feeding San Diego, I have now started to train someone who wants to open a food pantry at her church in Santee. We’ve met on the phone. And, last Saturday, she came to our pantry for a tour of how we have set up our operations. Our volunteers were singing loudly while bagging green beans, so they made the work look fun and easy.
Feeding San Diego, the region’s largest food bank, is the local affiliate of Feeding America. They have done a lot for our pantry during the pandemic and months of severe food shortages. My contact at Feeding San Diego has been a Neighborhood Coordinator. She was promoted to management at the end of September and reached out to me the first week of October. I am really grateful for the opportunity to give back to an organization that has been so supportive to us.
She had another welcome surprise for us last week too. If all goes according to plan, I will share that news with you next week. Meanwhile, thank you all so much for your continued generosity. We would not be living our values the way we do without each of you.
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