50 pound bags of popcorn: Popcorn everywhere at Food Lifeline
I have recently started writing about all my adventures volunteering at Food Lifeline. It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy the people up at Food Lifeline. And best of all, it feels really good to be doing something to help put food in the kitchens of those in need. If you want to read about any of my past volunteering episodes, click here.
I realize that these series of articles about Food Lifeline have nothing to do with Starbucks, but I still want to share them here. And I want to keep shining a spotlight on a great non-profit organization doing good things in the greater Seattle area.
I’ve mentioned it before, but once again, Food Lifeline distributes a large amount of food to area food banks and meal programs. They source their food from many places. For example, earlier this year, you might have seen the “stamp out hunger” blue bags in your postal box. That’s a national food drive every spring, and the food you give may eventually end up in food banks. I highly recommend this previous article about repacking food from the “stamp out hunger” food drive.
A tremendous amount of food that Food Lifeline receives comes directly from growers and food producers. Food Lifeline often will end up with what they call the “seconds” and “thirds” – this is the food that is perfectly edible but not quite perfect enough for your local grocery store. Erin, a staff member at Food Lifeline, told me a story that one time they negotiated to receive a shipment of 35,000 pounds of carrots. Apparently the carrots were a little bent. When you go to the grocery, your carrots appear straight, and if you’re a grower, selling crooked carrots can be difficult. Erin said that Food Lifeline was able to enter into an agreement to pay the trucking of the carrots to their warehouse, and then got the huge shipment of carrots. Volunteers are needed to sort and repackage the carrots. That is exactly the kind of volunteer work that Food Lifeline counts on!
On September 15, 2012, I headed up to Food Lifeline with two friends, and encountered lots and lots of popcorn! Food Lifeline had been several pallets of uncooked popcorn kernels – in 50 pound bags!
It was theater popcorn! I bet if you look closely, you’ll recognize the branding on it. 😉
And so we opened up the 50-pounds bags, and carefully weighed out smaller 2-pound bags – family size.
I stood for several hours tying off bags of popcorn! And it was a lot of popcorn that we repacked! Erin kept track of all the numbers and weighing everything carefully. Our volunteer group repacked 2,350 pounds of popcorn! That’s 1,175 bags of popcorn!
We had to wear hairnets and aprons as we worked. Definitely a good time was had by all. I brought along a good friend, and snapped a photo of her hard at work (hopefully she won’t get mad that I posted it here!)
By the way, I was in the popcorn re-pack volunteer group. While we were there, there was a separate group of volunteers working hard on the potato repacking project. That looked like one heck of a dirty job! There was a pretty large group working on the potato repack project, and I heard from Erin that they sorted through, and processed about 6,000 pounds of potatoes. (Some potatoes, of course, ended up in the compost – these were far from perfect potatoes, and needed a lot of sorting through and repacking).
To “Deborah” who left me a comment on my last blog post about Christmas Blend coffee: I promised you that I’d make the image of Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee go away fast with new articles – here ya’ go! Think popcorn instead.