Serving Night: to the food bank

I am a youth leader. I’ve said it before; I love youth, especially middle school youth.
I lead at what I call my school church. It is not my home church where I grew up. This is the church that I go to during the school year when I am 1.5 hours away from my home church. The youth program at this church is separated into three groups:
DropZone (Middle School Youth)
Refinery (High School Youth)
The Core (Teen Discipleship Time)
I help out with DropZone on Tuesday nights, but one Tuesday a month we do a serving night with The Core. I help out with this too.
This month for our service project we went to the food bank.
The timing was perfect. My school does an annual Halloween food drive where students dress up and go trick or treating for non-perishables instead of candy. So the food bank had just got a bunch of food for us to sort and put away.
Okay now picture this: 24 middle school and high school aged kids separating, sorting, and organizing food in a small two room building. It was pretty crazy to say the least, but it was so worth it.
This was the process…
First we had to separate all the boxes from the cans from the jars. Then we went through as separated all that into different categories (i.e. canned veggies, canned fruit, boxes of cereal, Kraft Dinner, soup, etc.). After that we put it all in the proper places.
After this, the couple that runs the food bank gave us a lesson on how the food bank runs. Did you know that you need to have a permanent address in order to use the food bank? Following this we had a devotional lesson and then they gave us pizza!
I have gone to a few different food banks in a few different cities during different mission trips over the years. The way that this particular one runs is pretty cool. A person comes in, gets all their information done and grabs a number. When their number is called, they get a shopping cart and they go around the food bank deciding what they want. Over each different item there is a number indicating how much they can take; one can of this, two cans of that. It is really cool, just like real shopping.
I think all food banks should run like this because it gives the people who use it a real sense of dignity. They get choice and they get to do it on their own. They are not just handed a bag full of stuff, they actually can pick their own food off the shelf. I think this is so important.
Overall I think the trip to the food bank was really awesome! The kids loved it and so did I. Through all the chaos I think everyone was able to learn something and we were all very happy to help.

Thanks for reading,

Em


**Side note: I also went to my placement for Junior Praxis this week. It was really good! I started working with a new lady and I’m excited for the weeks to come.**
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