Men’s Christian Fellowship at St. Mary’s Food Bank

The Men’s Fellowship group is ready to volunteer again.

The Men’s Fellowship group is ready to volunteer again.

Larry Gleason

On April 1, 18 members and friends from PebbleCreek’s Men’s Christian Fellowship traveled to Surprise to spend the morning volunteering at the St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. Following a brief orientation, the Fellowship group was divided into two teams. The first team was sent to work on the inspection line where all incoming donated food (cans, jars, boxes, etc.) is checked for damage and expiration dates. The second team took the approved items from the inspection line and placed them into approximately 20 different bins (canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, etc.). The Fellowship, along with other volunteers, accomplished much during the morning’s work. Of note, the Food Bank has a training program to help individuals learn basic skills to prepare them for entering the workforce, such as inmates from the Arizona Department of Corrections who are close to completing their sentences. The inmates working that day were very helpful in assisting the Fellowship members learn their assigned tasks.

The St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance was the first food bank in the world. Other interesting points include:

* It is one of the largest food banks in the United States.

* The Food Bank is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization.

* The Food Bank provides food for more than 300 programs in Arizona including other food banks.

* A major Food Bank program is the Kid’s Café. Working with more than 60 schools, churches and community centers, this program provides over 3000 nutritious meals each day to needy children in afterschool and summer programs.

At the end of the morning the Fellowship members agreed this was a very rewarding effort and the Fellowship should volunteer time at the Food Bank again.