Patronpath Staff Contributes to Food Rescue Operation at Second Helpings
The Patronpath staff based in Indianapolis has been looking for an opportunity to give back to the local community by contributing through volunteering. Where should we focus our efforts? Because there are so many worthy causes looking for volunteers, we decided a food-industry related cause made perfect sense due to the fact that Patronpath provides services to restaurants through online ordering software.
Our day at Second Helpings started with a tour of the facility to gain further understanding of their mission. Second Helpings is a community kitchen providing over 4,000 meals free of charge each day. They accept donated perishable and overstocked food and prepare and distribute meals through local service agencies. We learned that Second Helpings is not only a food rescue operation, but also a culinary job training facility where over 600 adult graduates are now working as cooks, chefs, business owners, and culinary instructors.
After the tour and a nutritious meal prepared by students in the culinary training program, we received our assignments from kitchen manager Tanya Groves. Our group of four Patronpath employees added to the fully staffed Hunger Relief Kitchen operation already underway. “The number of hours our volunteers contribute far outnumber the hours from our own staff. They’re here because they want to be here and they enjoy it,” stated Kim – herself a volunteer who conducted our initial tour.
We started the afternoon carrying boxes of green peppers from the large walk-in cooler to the produce preparation tables. We then rinsed and sliced the peppers into halves and quarters. We also washed and sorted potatoes and operated a food processor call the Buffalo Chopper. Along the way, we learned proper kitchen etiquette, food handling, and food safety best practices.
The staff at Second Helpings has created a program for their volunteers that is organized and thoughtful. They deliver a rewarding experience that keeps volunteers engaged, which encourages them to return to work additional shifts.
Impressions from Patronpath Staff
- The sheer amount of food that is potentially wasted is staggering. The fact that over 4,000 meals can be served every day from rescued food is tremendous.
- Logistics. The amount of organization and cooperation required to accept and collect food donations, then prepare and distribute the food in a timely manner requires amazing logistical expertise.
- The importance of local businesses and individuals to give back to the community is paramount given Second Helpings does not receive any government funding.
- Understanding first hand the process from start to finish, from food being unloaded at the loading docks to fully prepped meals being provided was eye opening.
- No one is insignificant. One volunteer’s work helps to feed many in need.
The mission of Second Helpings is “Transforming Lives through the Power of Food.” They accept donated perishable and overstocked food to prepare nutritious meals for thousands of hungry children and adults every day, and distributes them free of charge through local social service agencies in Greater Indianapolis. Second Helpings also trains unemployed and underemployed adults for meaningful careers in the culinary industry.
Learn more about Patronpath mobile and web ordering and be sure to contact us at patronpath.com.