June 30, 2010 •
When you think of macaroni, what comes to mind? Macaroni and cheese, comfort food, good times in the kitchen, childhood memories …
After serving at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, a team of State and Federal Communications employees will never look at macaroni – or hunger – in quite the same way.
Our team was privileged to serve at the Foodbank as a part of the United Way Day of Action on June 18, 2010. Day of Action serves as a catalyst to advance the common good by joining thousands of corporate volunteers with area non-profit organizations to improve opportunities for education, income, and health in their communities.
Our assignment was to assist the Foodbank by repacking bulk food items into smaller quantities for distribution to clients. We understood the concept, but after a quick tour of the Foodbank’s amazing facility, we were surprised to see 3 huge tubs (imagine the size of a small above ground pool) each filled with 800 pounds of macaroni. Forget the club store’s definition of bulk – when the Foodbank says bulk – they mean BULK.
Throughout the day, fourteen of us worked to repack almost 6,000 pounds of macaroni into smaller containers for distribution to non-profit organizations, and from them, to the people in our community needing food. By the end of the day, we worked through over 7 tubs, packed over 2,400 individual containers of pasta, and had a blast working with each other to serve our community.
All around it was a win-win situation. The Foodbank benefited from our service to move the macaroni along, and with the help of many other volunteers, set a new record for the amount of food repacked in a week – 76,825 pounds! Our company benefited from the team building fostered by volunteering together and the understanding gained about what can be – and what is being – done to feed people and fight hunger in our community.
As we finished our work, I thought of all those little pieces of macaroni, each one individually so small, and almost, insignificant. However, there is nothing insignificant or small about thousands of pounds of macaroni able to nourish individuals and families in need. And how do you get thousands of pieces of pasta – one by one. When you think your contribution is too small to make a difference, think again. If you contribute, and I contribute, and we all contribute, our impact grows exponentially and our communities, our nation, and our world are nourished.
Now, where’s that blue box? I think I need some mac and cheese, please.
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