Philabundance Food Bank Warehouse – North Philadelphia
Our first officially scheduled Wynnstay Workday was a great success! On Saturday afternoon, January 23rd, from 12:30 to 3:30pm we went to the Philabundance Food Bank Warehouse on West Berks St in North Philly. Philabundance is the regions largest hunger relief organization and it depends on volunteers to help distribute millions of pounds of food throughout the Delaware Valley each year. The warehouse is the main distribution center and operates 6 days a week. They get most of their volunteers on Saturdays and split them into morning and afternoon sessions. At 12:30 we were greeted by Jan Barnett, the volunteer coordinator, then watched a small video on Philabundance and the hunger issue in Philadelphia.
Our task was to box thousands of sorted canned goods, label in magic marker, weigh at the scales (keep em under 40lbs), tape up and send to the loading dock. Each bin of food had been sorted by the morning group into categories: Soup, Greens, N0n-greens, Fruit, Pasta, Meaty pasta, Beans and Tuna (probably forgetting a few). We had a makeshift factory line from the box-making, down the rollers to the scales.
Once we kicked it into gear, every volunteer worked hard for 3 straight hours. Box after box, Spaghetti Os after Baked Beans, the whole group boxed about 27,000 lbs of food. Warehouse Mike said that he’s never seen so many cans boxed – needless to say he was pumped. I have to give a special shout out to my twin sis Corey who despite being 3 months pregnant, didn’t take a break making them boxes!
Volunteering at Philabundance was fantastic, we really accomplished a great feat for the Warehouse and it’s workers. It was amazing to witness a group of strangers working so well together. I stepped back a few times to watch each person hustling to complete their individual tasks but doing so in a way that made the whole process flow like a fine wine.
The whole experience really made me feel like Wynnstay has a purpose – Philadelphia needs self-motivated individuals in an effort to help those in need. Our family has such a great attitude toward civil service and with their voices and actions we get more people involved in the community. The icing on the cake was to write in black magic marker “Wynnstay.org” on the Wall of Fame at Philadbundance – great feeling!