Today brought an interesting juxtaposition: I took four bags of muffins and scones to the soup kitchen, and then I went to the food bank to pick up a "survival bag". There are a lot more people coming in for food, and they've changed the rules, so that each person can only come in every two weeks. The quality of food is definitely much, much higher than before (thankfully, no Ramen noodles). The quantity is about the same; if it were the only food I had, it would get me through maybe 2-3 days. Several of the volunteers apologized for the small amount, but I was thrilled about the improved quality (multigrain crackers!). They also encouraged me to show up earlier next time, for a better selection of "bonus" items. I'm enormously grateful that it's there, though I look forward to the day when I'm again donating to it instead of relying on it. I'm also grateful to know that day will come, probably soon; many people who rely on the food bank don't have that knowledge. I thanked all the volunteers, who were very kind. It's an incredibly humbling experience to use a food bank. I want to be on the volunteer side, on the giving side... but right now, I also need to accept the help.
There was a funny moment when I was going through the registration process. Everyone has to produce both government ID and a bill with their name and address; I'd forgotten that, and I don't have any printed bills (all my bills come via email). So I scrambled with my phone, found my latest gas bill, and showed it to the woman. She asked, "Is that an investment report?" I started to laugh - not at her, but at the idea. (If I had investments, I probably wouldn't be at the food bank.)
In between giving to the soup kitchen and receiving at the food bank, I stopped by the coffee shop and cleared some tables (it's a good "default" gift, especially in rainy weather, when I'm not sure what opportunities will come up). A woman asked me to watch her bag while she used the washroom, and another woman asked me for directions. So those were my gifts.
I managed to get a fair amount of work done today, and hopefully these pieces will lead to more work.
Hope you all had a great Monday! Cheers!