FROM OUR PRINTED NOV. 2020 EDITION
by Ginny Gardner
I volunteer at a Newton, Massachusetts food bank. It is held once a month and I refer to it as Food Bank Friday and I always block out that date on my calendar.
When the pandemic started, we had to move everything outdoors. It is a lot more work. The men come before 7:00 a.m. to unload the trucks; the food is placed on tarps and the bagging begins. Doing this is like a two-hour cardio, or a bending or lifting class at any upscale gym.
The food bank is now drive-thru. We deliver bags to the cars. The physical part of this leaves me sore on Saturday, but I would not stop doing it for the world. Things I have learned along the way:
• Don’t judge a book by its cover. Many people are out of work. They are waiting for Washington, D.C. to help them. They need help. Stop fighting and do your job, D.C.
• How much a sincere thank you, smile, or kind word means to people (me included).
• Some people can be feisty. Mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. I learned that emotionally challenged people need to feel loved. Some of them have been abandoned by their families and are alone. It is heartbreaking.
Yesterday, we saw more walking people. They do not have a car, so they walked there. They lined up with their grocery carts, one lady with four children. We over-filled her cart and even the children got bags.
We wear our masks and hope the fresh air will protect us. Clearly, we cannot socially distance. For some they can’t risk this exposure. What you can do is show some understanding and kindness (it costs nothing). Not everyone is mentally or physically capable of making good choices, and sometimes many of them end up walking through a drive-thru food bank.
Yesterday, one such gentlemen handed me a flower and said this is for you. Another such man looked at me and said, “You look so tired; I hope you can go home and put your feet up and get some rest.” Both gentlemen melted my heart with their kindness.
Thank you, God, for the reminder. Love thy neighbor. I am honored, as your humble servant to do so. ♦
Ginny Gardner is the Community Liaison for the Women’s Auxiliary American Legion Post 440 in Newton, Mass., and Chair of Keep Newton Safe.