On Saturday, April 16th, we all gathered early in the morning at the LA Public Library. Our bus whisked us to the City of Vernon, amidst all the industrial, packing, and other warehouses of this gritty interior core of LA County. For the second year in a row, we worked a long shift at the Los Angeles Food Bank. Our task this year was different than last year; last year, we packed boxes for individual families. This year, we took things from the assembly line and boxed items based on that they were: canned vegetables, canned meats, water, snacks, coffee and tea, baking goods, etc. As with last year, the assembly line set the pace – with our own Mr. Lee as foreman of the line – and everyone pitched in immediately and with the usual LASA teamwork. “Need a veggie box!” or “Sport drinks ready to go!” rang out as we filled boxes, replaced them with empties, and stacked our work on palates six deep, five high. It was a long shift of nearly 3 hours – we were exhausted – but we were all gratified by a) Food Bank worker Brian’s praise (“I want you all back every week”) and b) our weight totals: we packed 26,000 pounds of food during our shift!
The food security crisis in greater LA is real, we all know that. And there are institutions and people – and volunteers—trying to do what they can to put a dent in the need and the hunger.
We all learned a lot today, and our experience at the Food Bank won’t soon be forgotten.
Next month: our last meeting of this year’s LASA class!