Thursday, October 22, 2015

Banking on It

Current Weight: 306 lbs
Total Loss: 43 lbs
Avg. Loss/Week: 1.5 lbs
- Body Weight %age: 13%

"If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back."
-Regina Brett 

An oft visited topic of this blog is that being big and losing weight is hard—whether it's a list of reasons to lose weight, traveling, or even hardcore plateaus like the one I've been on for the last month (blerg). However, there are a million things harder than establishing a healthy relationship with food...like having no food at all.


Last Thursday, I was invited to volunteer at The Foodbank of Lincoln with my coworkers. My place of work, Firespring, requires that all its employees volunteer at least eight hours of their time monthly so I jumped on the opportunity to make a dent in my numbers. But I was also curious; I know Lincoln better than any city but my sheltered existence here often causes me to forget that hunger is not just a third-world country or big-city issue, it happens in the town I was born and raised in. 

(Uh, also, the promise of seeing one of a dear friend, Michaella, was a BIG draw. She's been working at The Food Bank of Lincoln for almost a year now and she has a tireless spirit for making the world a better place—love her.)

We were warmly received and escorted to one of the expansive warehouses where the air was cool, dry, and smelled like apple cider. The scent wafted out of the bushels of donated apples we helped bag. But primary responsibility was assembled bags of food for the Pre-packed Bag Distribution program:
All the bags we packed!

2 jugs of juice
2 shelf-stable cartons of milk
2 packets of chicken
1 jar of peanut butter
2 cans of fruit
2 cans of veggies
2 boxes of pasta
2 boxes of cereal

My coworkers are awesome and worked their butts off. Altogether, we assembled about 250 bags and as I snapped this photo, I thought about the families receiving them. I imagined a family grateful to prepare and gather around a simple meal. I also compared the items in the bag to our pantry at home—even with a limited, low-calorie diet, the contents of our kitchen were endless in comparison.

One of the bags for the Backpack Program
I rightly felt a measure of guilt for all the times Jordan and I would eat out in the past, throwing away our money and health with both hands...it was easy to blow through over $100 on Starbucks, a couple nights of take out, a Dairy Queen stop and one nice date night out per week. At the food bank, I learned that this same amount of could nourish a family of an under-employed single mom with two kids for a month.

It put things in perspective. Big time. 

It's a luxury to be able to afford fresh produce. It's a luxury to, after a long day at work, come home to a well-stocked kitchen and have time to prepare a meal with my husband. It's also a luxury to not have to depend on a food system where fast or processed foods are the logical solution to needing a meal quickly and cheaply (but that's a topic for another time.) 

I won't lie, visiting the food bank gave me the feels. If you're reading this and are in a position to clean out your pantry and give away some items or give of your time/finances I encourage you to do it. What you get back is a good deal more than what you'll give.

I work with ridiculously good-looking people. I heart my Firespring Family!

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