Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waste Not, Want Not: Student Food Rescue



Every Wednesday from 8-10 I join my new friends Erin and Sharrod for Student Food Rescue. The Community Service Center at BU asked that I write a post about it, so even though it's also published here, I thought I'd include it below!

There aren’t many things that will get a college student out of bed at 8am any day of the week. Yet Boston University Community Service Center has committed groups of volunteers that participate in their food runs at all hours of the day, 5 days a week. Letting 15-passenger vans loose on the city of Boston, they rescue perfect food that would normally be headed to the landfill. Local businesses such as Clear Flour Bread, Lyndell’s Bakery, Whole Foods,Starbucks, the GSU, Au Bon Pain and many more donate delicious items that although not sold in the stores are perfectly fine to consume. They just need someone to get these products from the production site to local food kitchens, women’s shelters and foodbanks. That’s where SFR comes in. With a set route in place and a two hour window of time, these volunteers navigate one-way streets, winding roads, and (in)famous Boston Traffic to get the job done. Here’s a day in the life of Student Food Rescue:


7:50 am: Erin picks up the keys from the CSC office.

8:00 am: We all meet up in the Fuller parking lot and slam the doors shut on “Old Red”.

8:01 am: Radio on, DJs got us falling in love again.

8:07 am: Sharrod takes the U-turn in front of Warren Towers, swerving around a herd of freshmen bbm-ing while illegally crossing the street.

8:15 am: All the way up Comm Ave to Washington Street, we get into the Whole Foods parking lot and pull up at the Loading Dock. Admire a huge pile of freshly delivered pumpkins, and get to work boxing up the donations.

8:20 am: 5 boxes of lightly dented packages of everything from brown rice & coconut water to organic fruit snacks & applesauce get shoved into the back seats cause I love you, just the way you are.

8:30 am: Barreling down Verndale Street, we wait on a Traffic Jam at Harvard Ave.

8:40 am: We make our way to Cambridge and Somerville, fist pumping to “I Like It” ala Jersey Shore.

8:55 am: Pass through Harvard, make me feel like I’m living in a Teenage Dream.

9:15 am: Sweet smells of butter and sugar, in heavenly union waft through as we pick up 2 boxes of pastries and a huge bag of bread from Lyndell’s Bakery

.9:16 am: We all show utmost restraint in not sneaking a taste of these heavenly goods. Erin cradles the boxes on her lap so tragedy does not strike.

9:30 am: Somerville to Boston involves a lot of weaving around construction, navigating one-way streets, high ways and a left exit on Storrow Drive

9:45 am: We make it in one piece to the Safe Haven for Women, and a team of their volunteers comes out to help us unload the goods. They are hugely appreciative and “ooo” and “ahh” over our collection.

9:50 am: After another round of Thank Yous we head back down Comm Ave, park the van, swap a round of high-fives and carry on with our day. Cause we’re fly like a G-6.

I have been so extremely fortunate in my life, that I try to give back to my community, and naturally food,-related activities are my favorite form of service! Do you volunteer anywhere?

1 comment:

Jess said...

In only 2 hours, you did so much! If everyone donated 2 hours per week for service activities like this, the world would be a much better place. Thanks for sharing your pop-music inspired community service.