An Insiders Outside Perspective

Blink… Blink… Blink…

It’s 4:49 am and I am not a zombie.

I’m at the Oklahoma City airport on the way to my first out-of-state food distribution. The proud team member in me wants to tell everyone “FEED ALL THE BABIES!”, but I think that before 10 am people shouldn’t talk – they should just hug, because waking up is really hard. But I’m ready!5-2016-CDR3743-Starkist Pittsburgh Trip-Photos and Video-GT and DB (619)

We land in Pittsburgh and the people are so nice. SO nice. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the entire city is wearing black and gold.

Once we arrive to the event site, the other half of our team is already there taking care of business. And it’s impressive. We debrief, walk through the order of events and then it’s off to run more errands.

When we arrive at our hotel, it’s back to work:

I’m so captivated by our team. They have food distribution down to a science. Every possible weather, safety, disposal need and potential crisis is covered.

Chief arrives, J.C. Watts Jr., and we have his ear. Another opportunity to be captivated by our team and our leader. They all speak passionately, openly and honestly about hunger in America. As a millennial, this speaks to me. I don’t support brands because of what they do – I support because of their why. Why is everything. And in that moment, as if I didn’t already know, they had just reaffirmed how lit Feed the Children is.

Blink… Blink… Blink…

As I finally fall into our hotel bed, stuffed from dinner, it starts to sink in. In a few hours, we will wake, eat breakfast, drive to the site, maybe eat another muffin or bagel, drink some coffee and then begin to serve. We’d begin to feed families that might not have eaten at all the day before when I had already eaten twice that morning.

Surreal.

Although I wasn’t receiving a 25 pound box of food, 10 pound box of essentials or an Avon dignity box, I couldn’t contain my excitement as a semi-truck full of life pulled onto the scene. It’s almost majestic. Like seeing the ice cream truck pull into your neighborhood, but 10 times better. Odell’s smile and wave could be seen from the semi-truck cab a block away. He whipped that giant into place like it was a Tonka truck.

 

The volunteers began to arrive and an ocean of tie-dye t-shirts became visible. Our partner for this event, StarKist, was a dream to work with. They were eager to serve and love on families as if they were their own. #SquadGoals.

5-2016-CDR3743-Starkist Pittsburgh Trip-Photos and Video-GT and DB (10)

Families began to pour in. Toddlers danced with Charlie the Tuna while their parents visited the community resource area. Volunteers passed out recipe cards so that families could learn how to make meals with their new StarKist products. Feed the Children and StarKist CEO’s J.C Watts Jr. and Andrew Choe rolled up their sleeves and distributed boxes too! Hugs were given. Tears were shed. More dancing ensued.

Blink… Blink… Blink…

We just fed 400 families. WE JUST FED 400 FAMILIES!

It’s humbling to look at how small of a role we play in the fight against hunger. Physically small compared to a truckload of food, and relatively small compared to the dream team it takes to pull off an event. Our boxes are crafted, packed, shipped and distributed by multiple teams across multiple states, all because we dream of a world where no child goes to bed hungry.

“If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger.” – Buzz Aldren

I challenge you to take on an active role in the fight to end childhood hunger. Learn how to become a Champion for Children here: http://www.feedthechildren.org/peer-to-peer/