One consequence of recent times, especially for the self-employed has been managing time constructively if your work has reduced. One such person who decided to help out at a local food bank was Rothwell resident Liz Peck who has sent us this great article about her experience and the help she has given:
“It all started with a tweet; Alan at Slung Low made an appeal for drivers for their Food Bank to get deliveries out to the people in the South Leeds community who need our help most. A fellow Leeds United fan re-tweeted the call to arms and as I was twiddling my self-employed thumbs on social media, rather than doing any work, I thought why not?
I’m not sure what I expected to find, if I’d even given it some thought, but this is a military-style operation; there are bags packed with tinned and long-life foods and then there’s the crates – this is fresh food: bread, milk, fruit and vegetables and goodness knows what else.
I met Alan, who was in charge of the immense white board of who gets a delivery each day and any notes, such as dietary requirements. He gave me two cards; the first lady got extra cereal because her kids love it (make sure you give the right crate out Pecky!). I was told it was likely that they would be waiting for me and that sometimes this is the only social interaction of the week.
Sure enough, house one spotted me before I found her house number and welcomed me with socially-distanced open arms. I made my second delivery and by then, my adrenalin was rushing; I was actually making a difference in the community here.
I returned to confirm that deliveries were successful and was thanked for my efforts; it was probably less than half an hour since I’d arrived. I asked for more cards, now having worked out that my car can accommodate four crates & bags.
By this time, a fresh delivery had arrived and crates now had the added bonus of fresh rhubarb. Off I went. On this trip, I met a mum and daughter who unpacked the crate in haste and exclaimed at the rhubarb (“I haven’t had this in years, we can make a rhubarb crumble now”) and her 8-year old daughter explained to her mum that it’s turns red-pink when it’s cooked, that she’d had it at school. My proverbial “lump in the throat” moment.
We’d passed the 1pm delivery target by a long margin, but there were two crates left. Jo, who had spent all morning packing them and helping us out to our cars, said she could deliver them, but again, why not? So I was off on my third trip, now with mildly tired limbs after some physical work in the heat. Two more smiling faces later and I was back to report in. Job done. What a feeling.
They say the devil makes work for idle thumbs; it wasn’t the devil, rather more the guardian angels of South Leeds monitoring mine that day.
And I’ve gone back, obviously.”
Slung Low’s Food Bank is not centrally funded and relies on public donations; you can donate here – www.slunglow.org