What our superstar food packing volunteers do and why they do it
Who knew food packing could be so moving!
I started working with WCK this summer and have been fascinated by how much food comes in and out of the office, on its way to nourish families in the hospital and in homes across B.C. So, this month I spent some time with volunteers Jocelyn and Gail, who get the meals packed and ready for the home deliveries, to learn more about the work that goes into the program. And boy, there’s a lot!
Here’s a sneaky peek at the slick operation that these volunteers run, and why they keep doing it.
First of all, they get the boxes and cooling liners laid out and ready, and stuff each delivery label into its window for the parcel. The volunteers then attach a coloured label on each box to show which courier it is for.
Next, they check the freezer contents against each family’s meal order. From time to time, the food companies make changes to the meals they provide, or the size of the meals available, so we work to get each meal bundle right for the families. Dishes, sides, sauces, smoothies, and snacks are checked against the meal orders.
Then comes the main event: picking out the meals and other items and packing them for each family, one at a time. Volunteers carefully pack the food into thermal cooling liners, and ice packs are included for the deliveries that are going further afield. One of the deliveries this month is travelling nearly 500km! They make sure each box is stuffed full and secure, seal it, attach the delivery label, and place it into the freezer that is numbered for their courier.
This is fast-paced work; the team is serious about following best practices and keeping the food cool. It also requires great attention to detail, checking the orders, amounts, courier details, correct labeling, and so on.
And there it is – freezers full of packed meal boxes ready to be collected and delivered to the home!
The volunteers who turn up month after month to pack, label, and organize the boxes are very dedicated to this work. Not only are they total packing ninjas, taking great care to fill and insulate each box for safe delivery, they remember the families and what their favourite meals are.
These superstars spend hours in the office getting this most practical of jobs done, and it’s because of their care for each and every WCK family who is on the receiving end of these meal bundles. The love, care, and attention that they give towards each family’s parcel really reflects what WCK is all about. It’s our mission put into action:
“Deliver timely, practical support to respond to the needs of B.C. kids and their families, easing their way as they navigate childhood cancer and blood disorders.”
These small, regular acts of kindness that come from the heart have a huge impact. One family got in touch with us after a recent delivery to tell us what it meant:
“We received your Nourish delivery and we have no words to express our gratitude. The love and support felt is beyond explanation. We can't seem to find solid ground. Our challenges are so great that these offerings of practical support in the way of meals and snacks gives us space to focus on our child's care and processing this all. It's far more than just a box of food; we are touched and grateful."
The WCK programs are only possible because of the time, talent, and dedication that our incredible volunteers give, and we couldn’t be more grateful that they are in the WCK family.