What did I do yesterday? I did some volunteer work for a local food mission (a.k.a. food bank, food pantry, restaurant du cœur), helping my sister, our cousin, and her son, who volunteer there on a regular basis. I'm a rank part-timer, of course, since I don't live here.
The place is called Martha's Mission Cupboard, and it was set up by a group of local churches more than 20 years ago as a way to provide food assistance to people in need. The clients are approved by the Carteret County Social Services as truly needful before they qualify for food assistance.
Martha's Mission takes cash donations from the public and from churches, and purchases a good part of the food the volunteers distribute. It also takes donations of food — canned goods, bread, bakery items, fresh fruit and vegetables, etc. — from local supermarkets, for example, and from charities that organize food drives.
My small part in all this is to spend Sunday mornings, while I'm here, helping my cousin and sister pick up big boxes of food donated by a local supermarket called Food Lion, load them into our cars, take them to the Mission, sort everything out, and pack the perishable items into big refrigerators and freezers. (As an aside, it's interesting that the Food Lion chain, founded in North Carolina nearly 40 years ago, is now owned by a Belgian grocery company.)
Helping out on Sunday mornings is just a three- or four-hour commitment for me. My sister works at the Mission on Sundays and Mondays, and often on Fridays. She is still employed part-time as an optician the other days of the week. My cousin is actually the full-time (and volunteer) operations manager at Martha's Mission. My mother has been a volunteer there for a couple of decades, spending an afternoon or two at the Mission every week.