March OBA: Hunger

On Monday night, I joined up with the Ohio Blogging Association for a night of volunteering at the Cleveland Foodbank. It was my first time at the foodbank, and I was impressed by the sheer size of the building, just how much food it contained, and the well-oiled machine that is their volunteer program.

Our group got paired up with a handful of lovely people from the Rocky River Kiwanis Club to pack bags of food for the BackPacks for Kids Program. The program supplies 3,700 kids with backpacks stuffed with enough food to keep hunger at bay over the weekend. El Greco works for a school that relies on this program to bridge the gap between free lunches, so it felt especially nice to be helping contribute in this small way.

So for a couple hours, we cycled through the line and grabbed corn, corn, spaghetti rings, spaghetti rings, beef stew, milk, milk, chili, cereal, cereal, animal crackers, animal crackers, applesauce applesauce. Not only was it incredibly humbling to spend a few hours volunteering in this way, it was also a great opportunity to get to know my fellow bloggers. The laws of mingling have applied to the other two events I’ve attended so far, and while I’ve loved meeting so many people, there’s nothing like a repetitive task and a line of people to really keep the conversation flowing. I really had a lot of fun.

I’d had a small lunch that day and gone straight to the foodbank from work, so by the time 7:30 rolled around I was worn out and starving.

But that’s just it: Really, I wasn’t starving. Not at all. I’ve never known hunger in my life that wasn’t self-induced on the first day of a soon-to-fail diet or the result of a long run or car trip or night out. I may have nearly died of shame from being driven to school in a beat-up car, I may have enough student loan debt to keep me busy for the next 15 years, but I have never wanted for anything significant in my life, and it kind of stinks that it takes a night like this for me to remember how lucky I am.

So if you’re feeling down about the petty annoyances in your life, head on over to the Cleveland Foodbank, or the animal shelter or whatever nonprofit strikes a chord with you and spend some time volunteering. There’s no quicker way to forget about your own problems.

Monday Night’s OBA Roster

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