Olympia Christian School Serves Clients at Thurston County Food Bank
Several times each year, as schedules permit, the sixth through eighth grade class at Olympia Christian School (OCS) pile into the van and make their way to downtown Olympia to serve in various capacities at Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB). Students help at check in and check out, work the shopping aisle, and work behind the scenes stocking, sorting, and measuring and packaging from bulk quantities to family size.
TCFB has a grocery store atmosphere with fresh produce, dairy products, meat, and canned and dry goods. In addition to groceries the food bank offers baby food, nutritionals (like Ensure) and pet food.
Students have their favorite stations. Victoria Case enjoys checking in clients and providing them with the proper number of people they have been approved to shop for. Giselle Delacruz enjoys checking out the clients with their full baskets, smiles and appreciation. Behind the scenes is where Aiden Vega found his place to serve, making birthday bags for children of all ages.
We had to laugh about Sheldon Welch’s first assignment: the meat freezer. He is a lifelong vegetarian, so he was quickly taught by a regular volunteer the types of meats, the way to speak to the customer concerning how much they could have as designated on their cart tag and, most of, to smile, which he does readily. He was a trouper but did ask for a different assignment the next time.
Students were surprised to see some of their favorite Trader Joe’s breads and pastries available to the shoppers as well as candies, soft drinks and lots of Washington apples. The number of regular volunteers it takes to keep the TCFB running is amazing. The students were enriched by seeing how people give of their free time to help others and how much they enjoy it in the process.
Our school theme is CHERISH, and the S stands for "service to others." It is a blessing to serve others and particularly to serve alongside fellow citizens who simply want to reduce hunger in our community.