For the past three years, the Carson Design Associates team has tried to embrace this season of giving by volunteering at the Midwest Food Bank. And this past November, we were grateful to again leave the office for several hours and lend a hand in tangible ways at the food pantry’s downtown Indianapolis location.
Founded in 2003, the Midwest Food Bank operates eight locations in the Midwest, South, and overseas, serving over 1,100 non-profit organizations. The faith-based community organization collects food donations from food manufacturers, distributors, grocers, community + organizational food drives, and individual donors and distributes over $9.5 million in food to those in need each month.
Humbling. Eye-opening. Gratifying. Rewarding. Heartwarming. These were just some of the ways in which our team described the experience. See more of their thoughts below.
How Did You Specifically Serve at Midwest Food Bank?
“I helped to load trucks from the various organizations that were coming to pick up their load for the pantry in their community.”
“We packaged various types of bread into boxes for Midwest Food Bank to give to each of its agencies. We also sorted a wide spectrum of items for CVS Pharmacy to later donate and bagged the items for easy distribution.”
“I helped load perishables onto the customers’ trucks.”
“This year, I was on a team that loaded boxes of donated bakery items, household, and toiletry items for distribution.”
“This year at Midwest food Bank, I served by making boxes filled with breads and other bakery items, as well as sorting things donated by CVS Pharmacy.”
“This year, I assisted with separating several pallets of goods, so that volunteers and employees could later pull and distribute them to various charities, churches, etc.”
“We spent time unloading packaged bread and boxing them up to be transported to food pantries. We also unloaded large boxes of CVS donations, sorted them by category, and bagged items that would eventually be picked by those in need.”
“I helped organizations ‘shop’ for items, packed them up, and helped load their trucks.”
“I helped resort product into boxes, which will allow Midwest Food Bank to streamline their distribution process.”
“We packaged boxes of bread and sorted supplies donated by CVS Pharmacy.”
Why Does Volunteering With Midwest Food Bank Matter to You?
“You get an opportunity to be a witness and participant in something that is much bigger than you, and that we take for granted every day…food on our tables and money to buy that food.”
“It is great knowing that what you do will be benefitting others in a positive way. I also enjoyed the experience of volunteering alongside my coworkers.”
“It’s so great to give back to the community, especially since Midwest Food Bank relies so heavily on volunteers to help.”
“Their mission is to feed the hungry. That’s such a basic need that must be fulfilled and I was happy to help!”
“Volunteering is a rewarding and meaningful way to help our communities grow and thrive.”
“There are so many people in need of support with food and meals. It is wonderful to be able to volunteer with an organization that is so passionate in serving others. Giving of my time is just as important as giving financially. It takes the hands and feet of the volunteers to get the products and services to those in need.”
“It matters to me because I was able to helping meet the basic needs of people. And that’s what it is all about.”
“Giving a little of my time to help a positive cause not only makes me feel like I’m making a difference but also reminds me of how fortunate I am.”
“There are far too many people that go day to day without knowing where their next meal will come from, or where they will sleep that night. Midwest Food Bank, and the many charitable groups that they assist, makes it possible to give thousands of people the relief that they need with little more than some surplus food and volunteered time.”
“It matters that we are helping the community and helping someone in need.”
“It provides me with an opportunity to support an organization that supports those less fortunate. Not only am I helping the organization get the product where it needs to go, but we are taking care of those that cannot afford items they may need for their families and themselves. It puts life in perspective to understand the small things in life that are taken for granted. It also brings my coworkers and I together to create a team to execute the task given to us. It really does require everyone to complete the job!”
What Did You Take Away From the Experience?
“The thing that struck me the most was how conscientious the volunteers were from the various pantries that came to pick up their load. They carefully considered every donation they took. They didn’t want to “over take” because they wouldn’t have shelf or refrigerator space or it wasn’t an item their customers would use. Thoughtful deliberation is made over things like a bag of bulk beans or a case of grapes. Again, we take a lot for granted in our lives and this really makes you appreciate simple things much more.”
“The surprising wide range of items that CVS Pharmacy donates!”
“It’s great to know we have made a difference in the distribution of food to needy people in our community.”
“It really opened my eyes. It was great to see that places like this exist and do make a difference in the community.”
“It makes me feel good about myself. I have been blessed in my life, so I choose to use those blessings to help others who may not have had the opportunities that I had.”
“Midwest Food Bank has the process down! They have a very streamlined process and are able to utilize your time very efficiently.”
“I felt good that I was able to contribute in some small way to help out the greater good. It’s fascinating that so many people contribute time, money, and goods to make this happen in such an efficient manner.”
“There is still an incredible amount of good in this world. To play a small role in that is amazing.”
“What struck me the most were the stories of the organizations that we helped. The sheer volume of groups was surprising on its own, but then we learned that many of the groups we were helping then distributed to smaller groups themselves. Hearing about the number of people that these groups were feeding—and the effort it took to organize and maintain their events—really broadened my perspective of just how much work there is to do, and how much these people were doing for others. At a time when negativity abounds, I am grateful that there are so many good people in the world.”
“Amongst the craziness of life, it makes me realize how truly blessed I am. It really puts life back into perspective.”
“I learned that the Midwest Food Bank receives a variety of donations to support those less fortunate, and that it’s important for volunteers to regularly assist in sorting items—especially perishable items—in order to get them to the individuals and families in need.