Many of us have been stuck at home for too long, and might be thinking about safely going out. Meeting old friends and new people is a pretty attractive idea right now, isn’t it? And what if venturing back out into the world came with extra benefits, like making you feel really good about yourself and the world?
Doing good is good for you. We know about the healthy physical and mental benefits of volunteering for worthwhile causes, but inertia might be holding us back. We’ve written before about the benefits of volunteering, and in this time of restricted social contact those benefits seem even more valuable.
In this issue we feature a local organization that can always use good-hearted help. Local, yes. Really local! They’re actually in our Southern Gables neighborhood. They have been carrying on their work throughout the pandemic while maintaining safe practices (masks, handwashing, gloves, social distancing) in the workplace.
Joy’s Kitchen provides food to anyone who wants it. The work is done by volunteers, with masks and social distancing. Tasks include collecting surplus food at donating locations; sorting and classifying food items; and passing out boxes of food to anyone who drives up during the distribution hours.
To find out about volunteering, or even about getting food for yourself or to take to friends or family, go to joyskitchen.org. You will be helping neighbors, and just as importantly in the mission of Joy’s Kitchen, preventing waste of surplus food.
Rescue Food — Feed People
To understand the importance of this slogan, you first have to appreciate the concept of “rescuing” food. The amount of food that goes to waste in our economy, when so many people are lacking, is astonishing. It causes harm to the environment as it decays in landfills. It represents misdirected resources that are grown and made for health and comfort but go wasted, missing that purpose and serving no one. Saving it from waste is a serious mission. Joy’s Kitchen serves 4000 families a month with hundreds of thousands of pounds of recovered food. A day’s work can move anywhere between 6000 and 17,000 pounds of food, rescuing it from waste and feeding people.
Every bit of that food helps the earth, and helps families maintain healthy diets while allowing that portion of their budgeted resources to be used for other needs.
The food distribution center is in our neighborhood at the Westwoods Community Church, 7700 W. Woodard Drive. There are no requirements to get food. You don’t have to be “in need” of food. (Does this seem strange? Here’s why it’s that way.)
Volunteer shifts are scheduled for just a few hours each, starting at various times beginning at 10:00 in the morning.
Food distribution hours are 1:00 to 3:00 PM on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.* People can come in and “shop” for produce, meats, dairy and dry goods at no cost.
To find out about volunteering, go to joyskitchen.org/volunteer. Do good.
Photos: Food surplus graphic and food photos are from Joy’s Kitchen.
* Edited on 7/5/21 for changed days, hours, and method of food distribution.