Over the past few weeks, as a sponsored Ambassador for Toyota and Food Bank For New York City’s Meals Per Hour project, I’ve seen hard work and dedication at its finest.
I’ve watched as volunteers donated time and energy to help their fellow man, packing emergency food boxes for those in need and distributing them to communities still feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy. It’s moved them to go beyond their comfort zone, both mentally and physically.
The boxes contain items that can feed a family for a few days. Ingredients could include:
Yet, they are filled with more than just food. They are filled with love. They are filled with hope. Each box says, “You are valuable. You are worthy. You are NOT alone.”
And they aren’t.
I have seen the recipients’ faces. I have witnessed their joy as they were given their distribution boxes. I have also seen volunteers struggle to fill each truck.
Before Toyota’s partnership, one box took upwards of 3 minutes to pack – and this was based off of the fastest volunteer. Now, imagine volunteers racing to fill 250 boxes while jostling one another in cramped quarters.
They were on a mission and time was of the essence. Distribution trucks had to get out before the heaviest traffic. If they were stuck in traffic, the recipients would leave. If it was too late, the police would ask the distribution trucks to leave. With so many variables to consider, the distribution center had to manage those items they could control.
Jamie Bonini and Lisa Richardson, of Toyota, showed them how.
They rearranged the workspace, cut packing time, and reduced work fatigue. Lifting food and moving boxes was no longer back breaking work with the conveyor belts that they installed. Boxes didn’t need to be lifted. Volunteers could now slide them!
In the end, the packing time for one box was reduced an astounding amount, which I can’t wait to share with you soon. Volunteers no longer raced against time and they smiled just as broadly as the recipients.
On June 12th, you’ll be able to witness the Meals Per Hour story for yourself, when a short documentary is released both here on my blog and on MealsPerHour.com. For every view, Toyota will donate a meal to Food Bank For New York City. They’ve already committed to 250,000 meals – help them get up to 125,000 more!
Disclosure: As an ambassador, LOAM was paid for said post. However, this in no way guided the Author’s voice.