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Saturday, August 21

We had SO MUCH food to give away this week, thanks to the Farm to Belly volunteers from First Fruits Farm. It was a busy day with a fast-moving line so not as much time to chat as usual, but we had a few highlights:

  • The guest who came back for seconds on the muffins, saying they were delicious and that whoever made them knew what they were doing. I heard volunteers Deb and Terri say, “Sure thing - you ate yours already?” and he said, “Ate them? I SWALLOWED them, they were so good!” So of course we gave him all the extras he wanted. Nothing we like better than people coming back for seconds.

  • I caught up with a regular guest named Patty who works as a home health aide and often shows up in scrubs. She is a petite older woman, polite and soft-spoken, and often stands a bit back from the fray if the tables are crowded, waiting for a quieter moment. She usually stops by on her way to catch the bus to visit a patient either at their home or in the hospital. Her concern for her patients always seems to be top of mind for her, and I enjoy hearing what she’s doing and where she is headed that day.

  • I was scurrying around handing out water bottles to people standing in line, and at one point realized I was continuing to offer water to people I’d already given bottles to a minute or two before. A young man wearing a mask was standing next to me and his eyes were friendly and amused. I said, “I know, I know, you’re just watching me run around here like a crazy lady, aren’t you? I’m like a chicken with her head cut off today.” He didn’t say a word, but reached out and gave me a big, tight hug. Then he smiled at me again, still saying nothing. I thanked him and told him that was exactly what I needed right then. Best part of the day.

  • The gentleman who showed up at the end and helped load our cars with total determination. We told him there was no way all this stuff would fit into my car, but he just kept patiently readjusting the pile of tables until on the third try, it all fit perfectly. We high-fived. Victory!

It wasn't an easy day, but it was still a good one. The heat makes it harder on us as well as on our guests. Volunteer Terri was serving the rest of us volunteers ice water by the end, which was deeply appreciated. Sometimes you need to take care yourself in order to be able to keep caring for others. On that note, we're taking next week off to give our faithful volunteers a break and to give me a chance to do some critical work and planning behind the scenes that will set us up for the fall season. We will be back on Sat. Sept. 4, raring to go, chicken salad sandwiches at the ready once again. The signup website has been updated and is ready to accept volunteers for serving, bag lunches, and wellness kits in September.

Stats: 110 breakfast burritos with fresh homemade salsa, 146 bag lunches, 256 chocolate zucchini muffins, 4 crates of peaches, 4 watermelons, 4 dozen bananas, 5 gallons mango iced tea, 5 gallons iced water, and 80 water bottles. We also gave out 30+ toiletry kits and 400+ masks.

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