An Evening of Service at Northeast Iowa Food Bank

A month or so ago an employee reached out to me asking about information regarding arranging a group volunteer event at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. We’ve done such volunteer events at our local food bank as a group several times in the past, but it had been awhile since we’ve been back to help out. I was excited to hear that there was interest in such an opportunity, so we quickly got the wheels turning.

A couple weeks later, a group of DISTek employees met down at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo, Iowa to lend a hand. After a tour of the impressively large facility and a {quick} stop in the subzero freezer, our group was split into two to best meet their current demands.

Every year the NEIA Food Bank hosts a sack lunch fundraiser. Local businesses donate all the components to make the lunch and volunteers put all the products together to make a sack lunch which then can be purchased by the community. This year’s lunch included a pulled pork sandwich and the timing lined up perfectly that we were needed to help prep the pork. Our group donned their aprons, gloves, hair nets, and beard nets (is that what they’re called?) and headed to the kitchen to trim, cut, season, and fill roasters, as well as shred and fill containers with cooked meat. Our DISTek crew was able to help make this year’s fundraiser one of the most successful, selling over 1600 sack lunches. Each sack lunch sold provides a donation that the food bank can turn into 32 meals to help feed local area families. Now, math was never my strongest suit, but I believe that’s 51,200 meals!

While the second group was not nearly as fashionable, they were tasked with dividing up boxes of donated diapers into individual bags that would then be handed out to clients.

I am truly thankful for everyone that is willing to volunteer their time to show up and help. By giving their time, they are making a positive impact on the lives of others. I left the food bank feeling both humbled and grateful. I saw caring, compassion, selflessness, teamwork, camaraderie, and collaboration from my fellow coworkers. I am unequivocally proud to be surrounded by people that embody those qualities. Our group enjoyed our experience so much that we decided volunteering at the food bank should become a regular occurrence so I look forward to more evenings spent with this crew helping to make a difference in our community.