Guest Post by Cory Sylvester, Food Bank staff member: I am the Agency Relations Manager at the Food Bank. A big part of my job is being a liaison to our many agencies. In order to partner with the Food Bank, agencies must go through both an application process and an on-site inspection.
On Saturday, Feb. 12th I had arranged to visit the Church of Good Shepherd in Pittsburg while their weekly pantry was in operation from 11:00 am – 12:00 noon. You have to understand I never know what quite to expect when I show up to something like this, consequently the staff of volunteers isn’t really sure what to expect from me either.
It was a nice day and chairs had been set up for the crowd of about 40 people. It was a very social atmosphere with the staff offering coffee and pastries while people talked and waited.
The crowd had become aware that the “Guy from the Food Bank” was here for an inspection. There was now a lull in conversations and a look of concern on most of the faces, because they could see me poking around and asking a lot of questions.
Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the organization of this new pantry site. I complimented the staff on their efforts and enthusiasm. This certainly lightened the mood after all of my questions about logistics, food safety, volunteers, pest control, refrigeration temperatures, etc… I told the staff what a great partnership this pantry would make with the Food Bank.
What happened next was a little unusual. The Pantry Manager announced to the crowd that they had passed the inspection. The grateful crowd cheered, people stood up and started clapping. A few came over and patted me on the back to thank me. I think I was blushing.