Mantralogix Gives Back because Food Banks Matter
Along with some other Mighty Mantras, I had the privilege of taking some time out of my work day and serving as a volunteer for 4 hours on March 4th, 2016 at a food bank that is supported by Mantralogix, called Eden Food for Change.
This was the first time I have ever had any association with a place like this, and I have to tell you, I was so awestruck at the people and their devotion to what they do. You couldn’t help but get drawn into their enthusiasm. Mantralogix has had a long association with Eden Food for Change and I now can see why!
We first met one of the team members, Maureen, who greeted with a warm smile and were immediately made to feel welcome. The second person we met was Peter, the head chef for Eden Food for Change.
We put on our name tags and were guided into the back area where we were introduced to the other volunteers waiting to get started filling Fresh Produce Boxes. We were paired with one of the regular volunteers and given an area in which to work, and there were tables set up with a sea of empty clear plastic boxes.
We proceeded to find out what items were going into the boxes, which were fresh fruits and vegetables. They boxes are available for purchase ($10.00 boxes and $20.00 boxes) by anyone in the community. They are filled with a number of different pieces of fruits and vegetables, and they must be placed in the boxes in a certain order to prevent lighter items from getting squished by the heavier ones. The precision and accuracy, and the pace at which we worked as a team, was astounding and a credit to the people who have organized it.
The loading of the boxes, all 800+ of them, took about 2 hours to complete, after which the shelving used to move the boxes, had to be filled. I helped move the shelves to the loading dock area where they were to be loaded on a truck for delivery. I assisted the driver and dispatcher to load the trucks and helped keep an accurate count of the number of boxes scheduled to be delivered that day.
As the truck was being loaded, others were wrapping the remaining boxes to be moved to another area for distribution. The truck loaded, the shelves wrapped, we were all now able to take a breath and relax, but only for a moment, as all the tables had to be broken down and moved back to their storage area in the warehouse.
Our team was then given a brief but thorough presentation of the history and operation of the food bank on a normal day. It all starts when a family in need comes into the center and speaks with one of the volunteers at the check-in desk. Once registered another volunteer takes them to a cubicle to discuss items of a personal nature to try to get a better grasp on all that the center can do for this family. After speaking with this person, they are then taken through the various cupboards and their needs are addressed one measure at a time. There are several items to choose from and the variety is surprisingly vast so that every family can certainly identify with at least 1 brand name which will be familiar to them. This goes a long way in providing something familiar, and in turn, provides a comfortable feeling in this time of need and sometimes desperation.
Personally, I walked out of that building a different man than when I walked in on March 4th. How can an experience like that not change a person? I was proud to have had the opportunity to meet with and work with these amazing human beings, and will always rise to the occasion if the need/ opportunity occurs again. It takes a special kind of people to do what they do and we are a better community for it.
Please take this opportunity find the local food bank near you, and offer your time, money, or both, and make a family happy to be a part of this amazing country.
At Mantralogix, we put people first. People on our team, people in our community, and people that we have the opportunity to serve as customers and partners. For us it’s personal, not just business.
Eden Food for Change works to be a place where everyone in western Mississauga can be a part of a community focused on good food. Through our food bank we provide access to nutritionally balanced groceries. Our kitchen programs teach people the skills and knowledge to provide healthy meals. We also seek to provide opportunities for individuals and organizations to help build a stronger community – with a focus on food – because who doesn’t love good food. Eden Food for Change – Good Food For All!