lbs of Food Sorted
Vicina Youth at Central Texas Food Bank
“As we work, we become united; we help each other without even needing to be asked– a hand to lift a heavy box there, or moving boxes out of their way.”
At first glance, the food bank does not look like a food bank. The building is quite large, and seems to be impossibly clean, which is exactly the opposite of other food banks I’ve been to.
Inside, waits clusters of people. To one side is a troop of Girl Scouts, all around the age of 10, along with their parents. On another side are a few groups of people, maybe families or other organizations similar to Vicina.
Once we’ve all checked in via the kiosks, an employee of a food bank walks up and explains to us the rules of the food bank: no tank tops, open toed shoes, gum, etc. She leads us past a large kitchen and into the product recovery room, where we are greeted by other employees, and told that we are to sort through frozen food today.
We are split into different groups. Six of our students go to help move around the finished products, and the rest of us help pass out food that needs to be distributed to the sorters. Other jobs include banana box lifters and trash sorters.
We work for three hours straight. Although there’s a break room, none of our students go to use it. While we work, background music is played, along with a football game (but most of it is ads). As we work, we become united; we help each other without even needing to be asked– a hand to lift a heavy box there, or moving boxes out of their way.
When we’re done, it seems like no time has passed. We all smile at each other, hearing the employee give us the stats: we’ve sorted through over 7,000 pounds of food, resulting in about 6,500 meals.