Barbara here. Today was our team’s first day of service at Community Servings. This is my second year working at this amazing organization and so far, nothing’s changed. And I mean this as a very high compliment. The chefs are still extremely talented and devoted to making nutritious and delicious food. The volunteers are still hopeful, excited, hospitable, and helpful. The mission is still the same: delivering nutritious and tasty meals to families living with chronic illnesses. I am so glad to be back!
We began our first day of service with the volunteer orientation. Our team learned how important washing our hands were as many of Community Servings clients have suppressed immune systems and so any contact with bacteria or germs could potentially result in a client’s hospitalization or death. We learned the importance an organization like Community Servings has in the community. Many of the volunteers Our team spent the entire day slicing, dicing, plating, scoping, packaging, washing, you name it! We realized just how much thought gets put into feeding these families. I was on the assembly line packaging a meal of chicken cacciatore, mashed potatoes, and vegetables and I remember that we would wipe the containers so that they were clean and aesthetically appealing, which reminded me that actual families are eating these meals and we should treat them with the respect they deserve.
Today reminded me a lot of cultural assumptions about those who receive free food or services and assumption that they will be glad to get ANYTHING (the sort of beggars can’t be choosers scenario). Community Servings reminded me that retaining the dignity of those we serve is fundamentally in service work. We should not come in with the attitude that those we serve should be appreciative of whatever we give them. Rather Community Servings helps me realize that I am working to benefit someone else, and I should think about their wants ad desires, not the other way around. I’m reminded of what serving the community means to me: understanding what the community needs and working to provide what community members need in tandem with the community. I am super excited about continuing to do just that with Community Servings for the next couple of days.
Till some other time!