I was barely a month into my new job when it all started. MEND guessed from the outset – correctly – that the demand for food would be unprecedented. So I, along with most staff, jumped in to help in the Food Bank (along with our other duties). In the first weeks, I was immediately struck by the fear in people’s eyes, and I quickly realized that I too was fearful. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself of the huge need that our community was experiencing, and that I have the privilege of being able to help them.
Seeing people walk-up, often because they do not have access to a car… and seeing the looks on their faces, I remembered the reason I joined the organization – to help others. As I handed out food bags to people in line, I recognized that they could not see my welcoming smile, so I made sure I was waving … and offering words of encouragement. I was surprised that so many were also thinking of my safety, asking me, genuinely… “How are you doing?” But, most of all, I experienced (and continue to) so much gratitude from our clients each time … for the food they were receiving and for the staff and volunteers who are showing up to serve them.