Coronavirus is putting a bit of a crimp in everyone’s volunteering plans. Social distancing can make it difficult to give our communities the service they need. But even though it’s tough, there are ways you can still make a difference in quarantine.

This past weekend, my mother and I were able to help bag food for families in Revere that don’t have access to healthy meals right now. That’s a little farther from my normal stomping grounds than I usually travel, but I enjoyed being able to get out of the city for a change and see other communities in Massachusetts. Revere was a great place to do that because of its proximity to the ocean, so we got some great views while we were there.

Once we got to the site: Youth in Motion, one of the programs overseen by the non-profit organization For Kids Only, I was quickly acquainted with the site leaders, Mr. Ricky and Mr. Brendan. They introduced my mom and me to the system they had set up: four tables in a row with bins of various non-perishable snacks and fruits on each one and a pile of bags at one end. The idea was to grab a bag, walk down the line, and fill it with some of each type of food.

We worked outside and wore masks and gloves at all times, in addition to maintaining the recommended distance of six feet between us all.

The arrangement was very efficient, and we ended up bagging all the food, around 100 packages, in a little over an hour. Those packages were then picked up by the city of Revere and delivered to pop-up meal distribution stations, where any Revere family could stop by and grab a bag to take home for their families.

Overall it was a great experience, and I definitely felt it was worth a trip out into the world. It was a great opportunity to get out of the house to go do something productive, and if the volunteering program continues, I would love to go back!

Want to try doing something similar? Reach out to your local food pantries or shelters and see if they need any help! From six feet away, of course. 😉

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