Still been regularly serving at the Food Pantry/Care Center since my last post. My actions have continued to indirectly affected the lives of hundreds of families. Meeting new volunteer members, chatting it up with fellow team members. Seeing different food products and brands. I’ve also been learning about the complexities of diapers, training pants, and various feminine care products. As one of the people responsible if we had stock/usable inventory for that particular service day. The biggest thing was dealing with changes in preparation for “The Move” new procedures and floorplans and serving times.
The facility at Hoffman Estates is now closed Since Memorial Day Weekend and the New Facility will open early this June. Located on the main Campus of The Willow Creek Community Church.
67 E. Algonquin Road
South Barrington, IL 60010
With this new/larger facility we will be able to help even more families all around.
It’s been a while since I posted something about my experiences at the Willow Creek Care Center/Food Pantry. Things are still going well, helping families, seeing random food products. These past 2 Sundays, I’ve been helping out more in the bread room, keeping shelves stocked, locating more items, pushing bread carts and the like. I’ve been given more important responsibilities. I also get the honor of turning on all the lights in the public areas of the care Center, while my supervisors open doors, and greet waiting guests.
The above donation was full of oatmeal, grapes, yogurt and apple slices.
The two boxes seen above above as full of crakers, Snack well cookies.
Lucky for us, it’s usually still quite chilly outside, so that helps to preserve the freshness of these donated goods, I don’t know how some of these items would hold up during the Spring and Summer seasons.
The “higher-ups” have made an effort to visit the Sunday team more often than before.
Some of my team members have shown me a great deal of kindness and generosity on multiple occasions. I continue to learn a lot, but there’s still so much that I need to know about in the different sections to be more effective. Communicating with ESL (English as a Second Language) volunteers is something I still need to improve
In addition to the usual items that clients get for their monthly visits, Turkeys and a box of side dishes are also included. This will allow the families to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Sunday team also broke its previous record of most people served, yesterday. The old record was 184, the new record is 208.
The boxes of sides were packed by the Willow Creek community.
Unfortunately my low quality camera phone can’t really capture the detail of the designs and well wishes on the boxes all that well. There were 4 pallets of these boxes. I found it to be quite a sight to see.
I was quite busy myself, sorting through donated goods, operating the (cardboard) compactor. Helping fellow volunteers locate goods, and fill special requests/needs. Since this was my first time serving during the Thanksgiving season, I can only imagine how much busier things could get.
It’s been quite a while since my last post about the Willow Creek Food Pantry. Things are going well there. Weekends are actually getting busier since my previous entry. Sunday team serves 100+ families regularly, and the team leader let us know (from his experience) that it will only get busier.
There’s always something a little different going on with this Food pantry, a slight change in the placement of goods in the warehouse, what bags we use, to what goes into the bags. We get new volunteers while others take a little break.
One of the new things I’ve learned while here, is how to confidently load and operate a Compactor. It’s used to flatten large amounts of reusable cardboard, which gets recycled. My ability to process empty cardboard material (boxes and trays the food stuff is shipped in) has improved quite a bit. I continually assist in training new volunteers. I’ve even taken steps to recycle more stuff while at home.
Next week all volunteers will be going through a retraining session. Since I primarily deal with the Food part of the center perhaps I will be able to learn more about the other areas, and processes that I have had less exposure to. Not too sure. I’ve never met any of the weekday volunteers, so perhaps I will get that chance at this event.
So I learned about this term recently while at the Food Pantry.
A Gleaner is an individual who picks up goods that are still edible but for one reason or another is not something the company or grocer can sell on the shelves. Instead of it being thrown into garbage, the goods are loaded onto a truck and donated to the food pantry.
The reasons they may be unusable to the store:
*Mislabeled – I’ve seen an entire pallet of canned goods marked “Spaghetti sauce, mislabeled as tomato sauce”
* Newer Stock – We get some goods because the store gets a restock of newer goods
For the past several weekends, I have been doing volunteer activities at a food pantry/care center. What I do there is mainly packing, marking and moving food bags (in the back of a warehouse), for the families that come through the the doors.
Willow Creek Food Pantry & Care Center
2080 Stonington Ave.
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
This is what gets packed into large paper bags
- Beans (Canned of bagged)
- Tomato/ Spaghetti sauce
- Protein ( canned tuna)
- Oatmeal or Grits
- Peanut Butter
- Fruit (canned)
- Boxes of tissues
- Rolls of toilet Paper
- Pouches of mashed potato
- Specials ( coffee, crackers, mints and other things)
- White Bread
- Whole Wheat Bread
- Whole Wheat (w/honey)
- Raisin bread
- Dinner Rolls
- Baguettes (French bread)
- Burger and Hot Dog buns
- Chiquita Banana (tops and bottoms)
- Peapod boxes
- Greater Chicago Food Depository Salvage Boxes