After we announced our Feeding Hope program, time flew as we headed to Framingham. A lot of planning and juggling as we scuttled to the Miracle Kitchen. Kamani, our wonderful friend volunteered to watch our kids while hubby and I were joined by a few other friends who volunteered to help us for the night. As we got cooking it was nice to see my kids drop in for a visit and even better for them to understand what we were doing. They left and we continued to cook for over an hour. On the menu was chicken ala king (chicken cooked with vegetables in a white sauce), rice, salad, bread and greek yogurt for dessert.
I have volunteered several times and it has always been a part of me. Even when I was an engineer by day my nights were filled with philanthropic endeavors. I will selfishly say that I do it for me. The feeling of feeling like a better person for helping others is a precious one. Seeing people shelve their pride and come to a communal kitchen to eat, what may have been their only good meal of the day, puts a lot into perspective.
It is certainly pretty grounding and gives you a reality check. It also makes me swallow the posts about over abundance a little easier to swallow. I was pretty adamant that this feeding was not something just thrown together and the cheapest low quality food thrown at people in need. Having been once a refugee myself I understand how much shelving of one’s pride it takes to accept help so I wanted it to be special and be food I would not mind eating. Outside of the wonderful quality of food purchased courtesy of Stop n Shop and Shaws gift cards, I was thrilled with the amazing bread and pastries from Panera. Chobani, who came through for the dessert was a huge winner. When several of the guys walked to the kitchen and thanked us for the food and wonderful special surprise of the Greek yogurt my heart sang. We did good.
I want to give a quick shout out to the people who helped us on this day: of course hubby Ramesh, Andrew, Roshini, their sons (Nivasen an Euveshan) – I really believe a family that volunteers together is one of the most beautiful things. Also friends Jeba and Rose pitched in to help too. It would be remiss of me to not thank the the sponsors (who donated products etc – we were not compensated for this effort) Stop and Shop, Panera, Shaws, Ragu and Chobani yogurt. If you’re wondering why there are no pictures of the people eating, it is because I respect their situation and think the right thing to do is allow them to eat with dignity and not be interrupted by me taking pictures of them. We had money left over in the gift cards from the dinner so we decided to stock up the pantry. Do me a favor, toss a food product in your food pantry bin and try to make it a good one.