We are self-proclaimed “fun-hogs”. We love to spend time as a family getting out and exploring our town so when the Food Bank of Northern Nevada sent an email about their desperate need for help sorting food in their warehouse, we booked our time right away.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada serves over a 90,000 square mile service area throughout northern Nevada and the eastern slope of the sierra in California. They serve more than 101,000 people each month, half of who are children and seniors. Last fiscal year, they provided more than 14.4 million meals to neighbors who were hungry.
So many of us take our ability to easily access food for granted. We have so much food in our pantries; we often let a good portion of it expire before we can even get to it. This was never more apparent than when we were sorting hundreds of bags of donated food at the Food Bank. It hit the hearts of all five of our kids. They understood that the tuna they placed in the entrée box might be the only food a child gets one night. They knew that the cereal in the beat up box will bring big smiles to a kid who might not have eaten for a while.
The jobs were simple enough for even our 10-year-old to make a big impact. We unpacked bags of canned and boxed food from huge pallets. A few of us checked each item to ensure we were within the expiration period and that the item was unopened. The rest of us sorted food into categories like condiments, entrees, beverages and such. We had a winner for the oldest expiration date (Sidney won with a can that expired in 2008 – which quickly went into the dumpster.) and a winner for the expiration date furthest out into the future (Logan won with an expiration date out to 2019.) We challenged ourselves to find ways to be more efficient as a team and marveled at the end at the four huge pallets we sorted.
The kids want to do this every Tuesday night. They were motivated and had fun. They loved making a difference and helping an organization that serves so many less fortunate. We will be back often and I will encourage others to schedule their families/businesses for a shift. I made it easy HERE. It is the kind of fun you can feel in your heart.