As the gleaning season winds down, so does my term as assistant delivery driver. Matt and Dylan are very busy Gleaning Coordinators, so they need some assistance distributing produce. Most Tuesdays in October-December, I left my Development desk to help deliver food to our partner food pantries.
This position, generously funded by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation as a part of their Healthy Food Fund initiative, will soon be passed on to a new staff member. In the spring we will hire a Delivery and Gleaning Assistant, who will be responsible for making direct-to-pantry deliveries, as well as trips to large farms to help with high-volume gleans. We will also be purchasing a new vehicle (funded by Harvard Pilgrim) so that direct deliveries do not interfere with gleaning trips.
Here's what a typical Tuesday looked like:
- 8:30AM: Arrive to field station. Pack van with cases of produce for the Watertown Food Pantry.
- 9:30AM: Deliver food to Watertown Food Pantry. Get greeted by several friendly volunteers.
- 10AM: Return to field station. Help Matt pack pallets with cases of produce for the Greater Boston Food Bank.
- 10:45AM: Meet Walker, volunteer who picks up gleaned food for the Centre St. Food Pantry in Newton.
- 11:30AM: Drive to Helping Hand Food Pantry to deliver a variety of produce to Cambridge residents in need.
- 2PM: Deliver food to Belmont Food Pantry.
As you can see, it was a busy day, but it was so nice to delve into the operations side of our work. I spend most of my time writing about what we do, so it was a wonderful educational experience to be able to actively participate in the provision of healthy food, and to see the faces of our recipients. I also am proud to say that I can now drive a van!
I will be sad to leave the driver's seat, but excited to pass my role onto the next person. Many thanks to the Foundation for making this experience--and the many deliveries I made over the past few months--possible!