By Cameron McKirdy
Today I went to the local food bank. I’m unemployed. This is what it’s like to visit St. Vincent de Paul for assistance.
I borrowed a car and got to the pantry right when they opened. This one is only serving people three days a week for two hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. There were two people in front of me. I signed in, and sat down. A man was looking through their free clothing, and refolding what he didn’t want. St Vincent’s also offers some free books. Everything is take what you need.
The helpers were kind. They must be retired, and volunteers. After a short 10 minute wait, it was my turn to go shopping. My assistant grabbed a large cart, and wheeled it over to the vegetables first. I had my pick of onions, squash, celery, spinach, potatoes, and more. I got large heirloom carrots in odd colors to juice later.
Next we cruised along the back wall and grabbed products to go with the pre-boxed goods on the cart before I began. I chose from different types of beans, pasta, bread, crackers, tea, ground coffee, cookies, and even bottled vegetable juices. I requested the last Evolution Fresh brand juice, which sell at Starbucks for more than $5. They are terrific, but definitely can break the bank. I’ve spent $20 at a coffee shop before on just one meal. Those days are over. Time to make smarter decisions, like shopping at the dollar store, and Grocery Outlet.
After selecting the dry foods I’d actually eat, I continued to the frozen and refrigerated section. I swooped up ground beef, local Tillamook ice cream, a bag of corn and peas, eggs, and chicken. At this point, my four boxes of stuff were overflowing. I also chose a low fat milk, and Vanilla Hemp milk to go with the chocolate cake she set in my cardboard container.
On the way to the toiletries I spotted a can of spicy tuna and asked for that. I got a bunch more food items not listed too. Finally, I picked out soap, shampoo, alcohol wipes, dental floss, a toothbrush, and tampons. You never now when you’ll have a friend in need of tampons. I also keep some in my medical/First Aid Kit just in case I need a sterile pad to prevent further blood loss.
If I purchased these four giant boxes of food, and supplies, I’d easily be out $250. I can’t spend that at this time. I have bills to pay. I’d be out hunting for food, but I don’t have the experience yet, or permits. This is the easy, and right thing to do while I’m on the job hunt. The quality of these items is excellent, with many products being organic. I have spent a little money recently on vitamins too, so I have a well-rounded diet. This way, I have proper energy, and can maintain mental clarity. In case you’re wondering, the superfoods I had to acquire are Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc made with D3, Turmeric and Curcumin, plus Bee Pollen/Royal Jelly/Propolis, Maca Root, and wheat grass powder.
I’m grateful that this food pantry is here to serve locals in need. I will have to volunteer at one soon. Please donate to your local food bank. Happy Holidays from Survival Bros. Peace.