I recently received a message on my voicemail from a gentleman who said he had a food donation to make. I figured it would be a donation of household canned goods or something. I called the man up and he said he owned a restaurant and would like to donate some dry products and how could he go about doing that. Most times, I would work with our transportation department to set up a time for a truck to get over there and pick up what they had to give us, but it was late in the day and most of them had already gone home. I decided to make the pick up myself in the Food Bank van.
Upon arriving, I found that the place was completely empty except for the owner and it became clear what had happened. The man had lost his business or it hadn't worked out. He had to close up shop. Almost immediately I felt a bit awkward because here I was going through what we could and couldn't take as he looked on, the last remains of his life's dream being picked over.
As if he sensed what I was feeling, he put me at ease and said "well, this didn't quite work out, but I would rather this stuff go to someone who needs it than it getting tossed in some dumpster." He started pulling out different things and telling me how this was used and how that was used and "Oh, you definitely need to take this hot sauce, everybody loves this stuff" and so forth. It was just another small reminder that even in the most trying of times, the generosity of people always has the ability to surprise you.
-Ben Burgess, Product Sourcing Coordinator