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Volunteering for Operation Sack Lunch Puts Feeding the Homeless in a New Light

Culture | Posted on September 1, 2011 by Karly Pierce

There’s a common misconception that if a disadvantaged person needs food, they will eat anything. Operation Sack Lunch (OSL), a local Seattle not-for-profit, is turning this notion on its head.

This past August I spent a day volunteering for OSL along with 11 other Seattle Softchoice employees. OSL operates on the premise that “nutritional excellence is a right we are born to, not a privilege we earn”. With this guiding principle they have provided more than 2.9 million hot meals and sack lunches to homeless and no or low income people who call Seattle their home.

What struck me was the quality and thought process that was put into the meal we created. Paul, who is the main chef, was amazing to watch. He created a menu and put special touches in each dish to really make them taste good. We got very good at making muffins, cutting up fruit, steaming asparagus and cooking fish. I even learned some skills to take home with me!

There were about 150 people who came through between the Compass Center and the Outdoor site. It was very humbling to see how appreciative these people were. I had a chance to talk to one gentleman about his situation and how he ended up here. He is taking steps to get back on track but it takes a while. He said that he couldn’t do it without all the community help and programs like OSL.

It was a very rewarding day. We bonded as a team. We learned. And in the end we felt we had accomplished something good for our community. And I have to say, we looked great in our hair nets!

If you know of a great volunteer experience like Operation Sack Lunch, please share. Our people are always looking for an opportunity to use their volunteer days.

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