It’s my fourth day on the job, and I’m being sent on a delivery ride along. All I imagined was loading boxes of food off of the truck, and then be off to the next stop. But it’s more than that. Much more.
Our driver Efren and I left the Seattle Distribution Center at eight a.m. with a truck carrying 4,000 pounds of food. With the streets of Seattle barely waking up we made our first stop – miraculously squeezing the truck into a Pioneer Square alley.
Efren started unloading boxes of fresh produce, prepared snacks, meat, and dairy while I kept track of how many pounds of food we delivered. He delves deep between the pallets of food thoughtfully picking out what best fits the needs of the organization.
Standing in a thirty-two degree trailer isn’t anyone’s ideal morning, but it’s totally worth it when you’re delivering food to several local shelters. I got to see the excitement on faces of the kitchen staff when they saw the variety of food they’ll get to prepare today.
I got to see what Efren sees every day: a passionate chef’s mind racing to build a recipe and plan ahead for the meal after that. Efren handed the kitchen crew tomatoes, pomegranates, whipped cream, and chicken breasts, and they knew exactly what to do with it. It’s a demanding job but Food Lifeline’s team and partners do it happily.
Before every delivery Efren talked to me about the mission of the organization we were headed to next, and what he loves most about their staff. Once we got out of the truck he struck short conversations and joked with the staff making himself an extension of their team. Through his weekly five to ten minute interactions Efren builds friendships and witnesses a lot of amazing stories through each organization.
Seeing the Food Lifeline team in the office, warehouses, and delivery trucks enthusiastically serve their community is nothing short of inspiring. I walked away with the obvious “be thankful for what you have” but also knowing my community has an amazingly energetic team that cares for them.