One of our volunteers, Viginia Giblin, wrote this great piece about Friday’s pantry:
A hot day in SF, and even more so on Potrero Hill where the sun tends to shine. But the heat doesn’t keep the people from lining up early for entry into the The Food Pantry. Today we had quite a bit of fresh food, which is always a treat. I’ll list it here:
Fresh small yellow onions, yellow potatoes, fresh green onions with a large white onion bulb at the end. Huge zucchinis – clearly for stuffing, maybe for grating. Carrots, 2.5 pound bags of spinach leaves, green cabbage in a variety of sizes from small to large to ‘how the heck can this be carried home on a bus’, watermelons, mango. Red ripe tomatoes, packaged strawberries, one-pound bags of pretzels, a choice of beans–black, kidney, or chili One loaf of bread per customer, some plums that evolved into a backstock of apples as the supply ran out, some odd stuffed sausage-cheese thing, and some plastic bags of cubed green melon that must have been cut up by the good folks volunteering at the Food Bank.
We served 842 people, calling upon at least 53 volunteers– from those that started unloading trucks at 8AM to those who sweep up and lock up after 4PM, making it look like the food fairies from heaven were never ever there. But the once hungry now sleep better in their beds, knowing there are some groceries in the house.
Of course, it’s hard to watch the food supply dwindle by 3PM. Seemed like the people just kept coming, and there was less and less to distribute. By 3:30, we were handing out some cans of tuna, and bottled iced tea, and on-the-go items from Trader Joe’s to accompany the last of the tomatoes and the canned beans. The numbers keep growing. Yes, the same faces are there week after week after week, but we are seeing new faces, new people, from all walks and lines of work. Thanks be to God when there is something to give them.
A super nice, well-tanned gentleman was standing in the doorway as we opened. Visiting from the Peninsula, he wanted to know if he could donate food from his garden. Wow! Oh to be a part of his garden!. His generosity of spirit is touching. But I don’t think he can feed 800 people. Unless he’s got the fishes and loaves thing going on. And, hey, he might.