Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rancho Cordova Food Locker

My family and I spend several hours on Monday at the Rancho Cordova Food Locker, helping bag groceries and carry them to peoples cars. There were a thousand people in line, some arriving at Midnight, camping out in chairs or just standing. We arrived at 8:00 A.M. and started carrying boxes and bags at 9:00.

Some of the first people through the line were older women from Eastern Europe, with their own baskets on wheels. They, or a family member, had been waiting a long time. The attitudes of the pople in line were all over the board, from strained, to self-absorbed, to grateful. The Food Locker gave away a lot of food. No questions asked. It took two helpers to get the food out to their vehicles. After a few hours my arms were shaking from the strain of carrying boxes full of canned goods.

I met many people. An out of work dad who brought his kids to help those worse off than he. A nine-year-old Webelo, who talked non-stop about everything from summer camp to spiking his hair with glue and hairspray for Halloween. A Marine stationed in Hawaii, home visiting his family.

My daughter, the ten-year-old, and I were struggling to carry groceries to a car. A group of teens were walking by when one of the girls saw the strain on my face and asked if I needed help. I did. So she turned to one of the boys in the group and said "Andy, help him carry that box." Andy, after unwinding himself from her little finger, grabbed the box of cans, said something like "I'm strong" and carried it the rest of the way. I took the box from the women we were helping. My daughter carried two plastic bags.

Merry Christmas

Gerald F. Ward

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