Working together to fight hunger in El Dorado County
“Working together to fight hunger in El Dorado County”, is more than just a motto of the Food Bank El Dorado County. On Saturday December 15, 2012, that motto was placed into action during The Annual Holiday Outreach held at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds in Placerville. The event ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The only requirement to receive food was need.
Many people started lining up as early as 8 a.m. The weather was cold and damp many fought snow to be there. Recipients were to arrive in reverse alphabetic order by their last name. I was picking up for Mrs. Adams who uses a walker, but I used my last name so my time was 12 p.m. -12:30 p.m. The line was long at noon but soon stretch nearly around the Forni Building by 12:15.
My line mates were a diverse mix of EDC. The elderly, middle aged, and young were present. Many families were there, some small and some quite large. We came from different parts of the Western Slope but there was one unifier, the need food for the holidays and a lack of other options.
Many came to the line hungry and disabled. Some were alone as I was, others had friends around them. In short order, we all made friends. Not the kind that last forever. This was the friends of a moment. We were all cold, we were all uncomfortable (asking for help is not easy for anyone) but we were all grateful that someone cared enough to lend a hand.
As I stood in the line, I saw many volunteers helping to bring the food out in shopping carts to the recipient’s cars. Many familiar faces were there including EDC Sheriff John D'Agostini and his wife Janine. The Food Bank El Dorado County provided a warm waiting area with hot coffee cold water and snacks. Sign in was painless and useful, as it is here that the volunteers really get to work. Each recipient is assigned a number. Each number needed to sign in giving their names addresses and number of persons being fed. Some were picking up for a single person, others were there for five or more.
We all made our way to the Forni Building across the breezeway and took a seat. Inside, happy Christmas music was playing and a large volunteer in a Santa hat was calling number to come forward and pick up their carts. Each cart was filled with food and goods in boxes and bags. Each reflected the number of persons being fed.
Next, we sat and chatted. Children played. Off to the side a gentleman had brought his wooden flute and he played soft lilting songs. It was nice.
Soon I heard someone announce, “serving numbers 708 to 716." I was 708. It was @1p.m. "Santa" called my number and I said goodbye to my new friends. We wished each other a Merry Christmas and I went up to greet my helpers with my cart.
My helper was a young mother with her child. She was smiling and friendly. In fact, all the volunteers were. The entire experience was respectful and dignified.
We made our way out of the Forni building to my car and we chatted. This was her first time volunteering. She had brought her son along so that he could share the experience with her. He was bright and engaging as well as a little shy.
I thanked her and her son and wished them a Merry Christmas and I drove away.
Working Together We Fight Hunger in El Dorado County. Find out how you can help at www.FOODBANKEDC.ORG
Friends of the Food Bank,
As we are just days before the end of the year, we wanted to send you a reminder that monetary donations to the Food Bank of El Dorado County are tax deductible. If you haven’t made a contribution to a charitable organization yet, the Food Bank will be happy to put your donation to work and provide you with that needed tax deduction for 2012.
If you have made a contribution during the year, thank you for your continued support of the Food Bank of El Dorado County.
Board of Directors
Food Bank of El Dorado County
Learn more about the Food Bank at http://www.foodbankedc.org