You’re hungry. How easy is it for you to fix that problem? Probably fairly easy. If we’re hungry we can go to a restaurant, go through the drive-through, even order from an app and someone brings food to us. My relationship with food has evolved over the years. From being envious of popular kids with their Lunchables to being someone who knew what it was like to need assistance obtaining food to now experiencing adulting 101 having to budget money for groceries and dining, I’ve learned how much food itself isn’t a privilege it’s a luxury. One of the first steps to becoming a volunteer is finding an outlet or cause that carries significance to you. I chose to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
Seeing how I didn’t want to sit around during my time off, I donated my time to a cause I really cared for – fighting hunger.
Today I spent time with their Food Resource Center in Moore. After signing in, they put us straight to work pulling off old or moldy bread and baked goods off the shelves. After spending a bit of time stocking and sorting, one of the staff members put me and a young lady in charge of sorting produce and disposing of unedible ones in the compost.
Y’all this is where my experience made me think about my relationship with food. I adore cooking and I love baking as well. Even if I’m lazy it wouldn’t take any time to remedy any “hangry” feels. We were composting so much and that gave me the realization, hunger isn’t a recurring pain for me, yet for others, it’s a reality. Not even in some distant land, right here in my own backyard. After I finished my shift, my overall experience made me aware of the goodness of humanity. Most of the youth I worked with wasn’t there because of required service hours, they were there because they genuinely wanted to spend their downtime helping others.
I have to admit, the root of my desire to volunteer was thanks to you guessed it… Zachary Levi. Not only is he an amazing ambassador for Operation Smiles, he overall just has an amazing heart and is one of the most generous people.
Watching this snippet of his heart-wrenching speech about wanting to make the world a better place honestly impacted my soul heavily. So much so I made it a goal for 2018 to volunteer more. I feel incredibly blessed to say even though I may not live an exorbitant lifestyle, I live comfortably. The line of his speech that cut me deep was, “how much food can you hold for yourself before the rest of it goes and rots?” I have a habit of grocery shopping even when I’m not in the mood for what’s at the house, and that causes so much food to pile up and the ignored food spoils. Y’all in my journey to becoming a better human, I want to be more conscientious not only of what I consume but how that affects the world. Also, I want to think about how I invest my time. I often have a philosophy that time is one of our most valuable commodities. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through my social feeds, I want to help others. I don’t want to feel like I’m leaving this earth having not contributed my heart and my soul into positive action.
For the record, I don’t intend this post to be an “I volunteered once so I think I’m Mother Theresa,” or “I’m a blowhard who wants to make you feel bad you’re not volunteering” speech. I simply want to encourage people to find a cause they’re passionate about and figure out how they can get involved, even on the most basic level. My experience with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma taught me so much about my relationship with food and how it’s not as available to everyone. I truly found inspiration through Zac’s moving speech that I want to take more steps to become a more helpful person. Whether you’re passionate about rescue animals, fighting hunger, or like the students of Parkland and beyond, find something that you truly care about, get involved and let’s take smaller steps to an even brighter future for yourself maybe even the world.
To find out more about the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and how you can help, click here!