Monday, June 7, 2010


Kathy Garner, the PK (preacher's kid) from University United Methodist Church, our shepherd since Seattle week one took Kayla, Kathy LeClair and me to the University District Food Bank today. We had asked her to drive us to the grocery store. Kathy pulled into an alley at the edge of a near city-block big old church. In the corner of the building, ground floor was what looked like a hobbit door -- many people had to duck to make it through. Six or seven steps down led to a crowded sub-road way level bunker of food stuffs, shoppers and volunteers.
Greeted by a woman in an apron, I introduced myself and our reference. "I'm a bone marrow transplant patient living at the Pete Gross House. Our friend Kathy Garner from University United Methodist Church brought us here to shop." I explained. "Oh, our good friends at United Methodist," the woman responded. As first timers we were asked to sign in. I soon learned that it was not necessary to have an introduction, reason nor reference. The University District Food Bank is open to anyone who needs food residing in close proximity zip codes to the pantry.
A shopping helper came alongside to assist us. She held a laminated card that informed us how many points we could "spend" in each of the food categories such as diary, protein and vegetables. Our capacity was based on the number of people in our family. Kayla pushed the cart. When we got to the meat bin, we looked inside and a man at that station said "Just a moment, I have something for you." He went into the cooler and returned with a nine pound spiral ham and set it into our cart. Rows of bread stuffs were available for us to choose from. Twelve potatoes and six oranges were allocated to our family number of five.
Volunteers all. Volunteers unloading, stocking, checking out, shopping assist. We were in a basement of donated food with a community of volunteers set upon helping. The abundance of the hand out, the joyful pantry of people helping people fed my soul as much as any of the food stuff boxed, bagged and placed in Kathy Garner's car for our benefit. I do not know that we will become regulars at the University District Food Bank but today, I received our gift with gratitude. My spirit lifted and filled with what the world can be.

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