Today I worked for the food bank from 8:45 to 2:15.
5 1/2 hours. 330 minutes. 19,800 seconds.
Plenty of moments to get a photograph.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t get a picture of the little boys singing and riding the rocking horse in the nursery.
I didn’t get a picture of two truckloads of food being unloaded.
I didn’t get a picture of volunteers packing food in boxes.
I didn’t get a picture of people waiting for their turn to get food.
I didn’t get a picture of the lady who broke down crying because Thanksgiving was so hard for her.
I didn’t get a picture of me praying with a woman who had just lost her grandson.
I didn’t get a picture of the ladies who got belligerent when they didn’t get commodity boxes because they made too much money.
Instead I got a bleak picture of poverty.
People just like you and me who have been handed a rough deal. Some are grateful for what they have; some are angry; some are barely dealing with it. They are vets, diabetics, seniors, men out-of-work because they hurt their back, women who were making it okay until they took in their son who lost his job and his girlfriend and her three kids. It goes on and on…
Yeah, I was the intake person. The person who told them they made too much money to get a senior commodity box; the person with whom two people cried; the person who heard the political diatribe about the (*&^% in Washington who don’t know how to run the government. The person who filled out the forms, did the paperwork, read them the rules, and wrote down their income. $350 disability + $369 in food stamps for a family of 7…
I got home at 2:30. Not glad that I had helped, but burdened with the cycle of poverty that I saw only a small glimpse of today.
I have three clocks that tell me the moments. A green clock that matches my kitchen; a bird clock that chirps the hours; an expensive bedroom clock that shines the time and temperature on the ceiling…
And yesterday? I went grocery shopping for Thanksgiving. I went to two grocery stores and the beer store and mildly complained at how much everything cost. But my pantry is full; there are a few little extra luxuries for Thanksgiving dinner; and I still have some money left. I’m going to donate some of it to the food bank, and I suggest you do the same. To make someone else’s moments a little better.
and I’m grateful to have a full pantry and some money left over…