Sunday, August 12, 2012

Catching up on our spare time work.

Our day to day routine continues to be dictated by our work at the food bank, FISH. Aleene works on Monday putting in about six hours each week. She works in the warehouse as a "boxer" or as I call it a personal shopper for clients. (see pix)  Boxers then push a cart around with two boxes on them and fill the order. She also is picking up on the ordering as she is being "groomed" to fill in for the warehouse supervisor.  She fills in every other Wednesday for a few hours when needed.

I have a regular Monday morning shift where we pick up food at various locations in a pick-up truck owned by my sidekick, Howard. Howard is the Board President and I am the V.P. so we usually settle some business along the way. We pick up a palate load of knocked down cases once a week at a business that supplies them at no coast. The boxes are either slightly used or new ones which have outlasted their usefulness due to changes in product or customer. This is a Hazelnut shelling plant which is indicative of the type of agriculture going on here in the Valley.  The locals call them Filberts. It is sort of like acorns growing on oak trees. Hazelnuts grow in Filbert orchards.

We also pick up commercially purchased food: canned beans, corn, chili, vegetable oil, breakfast cereal and sometimes ground beef and chicken. Each order runs about $1,000 and while we do not buy food every week, we do most weeks. You can see that this food runs the food bank about $50K a year. The other half of our purchased food comes from the Oregon Food Bank affiliate in McMinnville. They charge us by the pound for handling. That runs anywhere from $.07 to $.25 a pound. Our usual loads run about 3K pounds every two weeks. We get limited amounts of USDA surplus food...anything from soup to nuts and some chicken thrown in. I would guess we get about 200 lbs every two weeks for free.

So there you have it. This is a $130K business that runs completely on donations from organizations, mainly churches and individuals. We are ALL volunteers including the executive director(s), office staff, warehouse staff, etc. One other interesting tid bit... there is a group of 10 men who pick up cardboard from organizations on daily routes. They recycle through Waste Management...yep, they are here too... to the tune of about $1000 a month. That money alone pays our electric bill which is considerable due to our refrigeration needs.

I fill in for recyclers sometimes and do other odds and ends that are within my skill set (power washing things and mediating disputes.) All in all it is fun, rewarding and keeps us in shape. What more could you ask?

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