The last week or so it has seemed we have had one thing after another on our agendas! Each year the United States Postal Service designates our home here in Somerville to be one of the recipients of their annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive. In the weeks prior to the event, every household receives a post card with the date of this event and residents are asked to fill a bag with non-perishable food items and leave it on their door step for their postal worker to pick up. The food is returned to their post office and then distributed to the designated charities.
Last Saturday, May 8th was the day scheduled for this food drive nationwide. We were contacted early in the week by our local post office and advised to be at the main Post Office in Union Square between 3:30 and 4:00 pm on Saturday, the 8th. As this hour fast approached, we rounded up a contingent of long retired laundry baskets on wheels and loaded them into our van. We also had several very willing volunteers and two Sisters who lent their muscle to this giant endeavor. It is amazing what one can do! Arriving at the post office as scheduled, we were pleased to see that some of the food had already arrived. The skies overhead were steel gray and threatening to pour, but the rain held off. Even as we began to load bag after bag of food into the van, still other postal workers arrived bringing even more food! Our van was far from being large enough, so we were forced to return home and unload. Using the baskets made the task of unloading quite uneventful and we quickly reloaded the van with a large number of Rubbermaid totes and returned to Union Square for our second pick up! Ready hands filled one large tote after another until the food finally ran out! But to our surprise we weren’t done yet… As we prepared to leave, the carriers informed us that the late shift would be returning around 6:00 pm and asked us to return for yet a third time! We agreed to be come back at the appointed time! We had barely unloaded the van when the heavens opened and the rains came down! Our volunteers helped us to move the containers from the dock to the garage which was to be their temporary storage area. Then we took a break! Our volunteers were able to enjoy some hot pizza and cold drinks while we waited for the final pick up. Now refortified, we headed back to the post office for our final pick up of the day. There we a half-filled truck with canned goods waiting for us and once again we began the process of loading shopping bags laden with food into our van. When all was said and done, we had received a ton of food—2000 pounds of assorted canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, cereals, crackers and macaroni and cheese was rolled into our garage to await sorting! Thanks to the many hands that made this possible and the hearts that gave so generously!
– Sr Mary Vincent