I couldn't find my computer yesterday, or else I would have posted this then. For my Nutrition class, we have to do a ten hour community project, somehow relating to food. I decided to do my ten hours at the Food and Care Coalition in Provo. What is that, you ask? "The mission of the Food & Care Coalition is to alleviate hunger and diminish the plights of poverty for those who enter our doors. Our primary objectives include finding suitable housing, teaching financial accountability, facilitating an elevation in personal morals and values, and helping each patron achieve their full potential." So yesterday, I became like Haddy, and was able to serve the people in my community. "The Food & Care Coalition serves nutritionally well balanced meals 7 days a week to Utah County's homeless, mentally ill and learning disabled, fixed income families, and families affected by tragedy." To serve the food, there were five of us in an assembly line, each of us put something different on their tray...bread, casserole (which looked really good), salad, fruit salad, and I was the last with a big chocolate cake (looked like the ones from Costco). It was so funny because instead of slicing the cake, they flipped it upside down, handed me an ice cream scooper and I scooped it on to the tray! At first I thought it was a little weird, but I realize they do it because it is so much faster! And I gave the people big scoops...hey, I love chocolate cake, I would want a big scoop :) Then there were three people serving the trays to the people, while the rest of the volunteers/staff were cleaning or helping us get food we ran out of. It was a very humbly experience for me. First of all, I love serving, especially the people in my own community. I mean, who doesn't like to serve? It makes us all feel so much better and so much more appreciative of what we have been blessed with. I thought about people like Alex ("Parenthood" character), whose family grew up going to soup kitchens and shelters. Everyone was so nice and a lot of the clients came up to us after and thanked us. There was not one moment where I thought about myself, but kept thinking about all the individuals and families receiving meals. What is their story? Why are they here? Where are they from? I wanted to just sit down with all of them and find out everything about them. After dinner was over and everyone had left, we all cleaned up and then I left. As I drove home, I saw some of the people that were fed. It broke my heart knowing that they probably didn't have a place to go or the fact that they had to be out in the freezing cold. I felt very blessed.
The facility must be new. It was a beautiful building, very clean and organized. I talked to a few people, before leaving, about doing an internship. While talking to them, I learned that they are opening a shelter in second floor of this building with 36 rooms! I would love to do something like this. Wherever Josh and I end up, I would love to open an orphanage. I wonder how complicated it would be to do that? Anyway...I am scheduled to go back in March, I wish it was sooner. Hopefully next time Josh can go with me.
I would like encourage all of you to find a shelter or soup kitchen of some sort and volunteer. I was only there two hours...that's nothing! I want to continue going even after my ten hours are up.