Lately, I have been volunteering at my favorite place–Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair, NJ after not volunteering there since March of this year. This soup kitchen is great because they have a lot of projects going on other than their meal service, such as the Healthy Backpack Program, in which they give away backpacks filled with various food staples, free blood pressure & glucose screenings, & having their own garden which is used in the kitchen to serve the public. The tasks that volunteers primarily do involve prepping & serving meals, sorting canned fruits & vegetables, & stamping Christmas cards during the holiday season. Many of the volunteers seem to be older or retired people, and a couple of high schoolers & college organizations also come volunteer.
This is just an honest rant, but my main concern as a volunteer is the lack of compassion that people may have. We are serving to people who need nutritious meals, so we should pay attention to sanitation and detail when it comes to prepping. Not calling anyone out personally, but I’ve witnessed a scene where I was helping make sandwiches with a group of volunteers and one of them put the cheese slices on the table instead of the cutting board. As a nutrition major, it is a bother to me, so I told nicely that the cheese slices should be on the cutting board in order to avoid contamination of any sort. Making sure the sandwiches are fully wrapped in aluminum foil with no signs of sandwich peaking out is also an important thing to look out for. Furthermore, all these volunteers are great, don’t get me wrong! But some people prep way too fast, & sometimes I just want to take my time to cut my strawberries neatly, or to prepare the dessert as appetizing as possible!!!
End rant- I just want to say that people should never lose passion in compassion. Think about the people who are eating the final product. They deserve restaurant quality meals too!