This third place was, a whole lot easier, the easiest in fact. Curious as to why? Hee, hee, inside connections! No, but seriously I have to get my Aunt Bev a big thanks for her tremendous help in arranging a visit and pointing me in all the right directions at the food bank. My Aunt Bev is third in charge of the Washington County Food Bank, which is technically the same office as the Multnomah County, so they are both Portland Area Volunteer Centers. Anyways, my cousin Jessica (Aunt Bev's daughter), drove me there and this time since I knew who I would be with I actually wasn't nervous at all. Though when I think about it there is no reason to be nervous anymore anyways. I mean I've done this a couple times I should be used to it by now and I do know what I'm doing.
We pull up in front of the office and after I take baby Liam (Jessica's 7 month old) out of the car Jessica drivers it down the slope to park it out of the way. I wait and we both go into the office with Aunt Bev and we all chat a bit and right away Aunt Bev gathers up a bunch of info into a folder for me. The whole while the only thing I'm doing is holding Liam who is content to just sleep, at least for a little while. Well, that little while ends and after a few minutes I hand him over to Jessica, so that I can go on a tour with Aunt Bev.
We visit the warehouse next door where all the volunteers are at sorting the food into different containers. And let me tell you there were a lot of interesting things that I hadn't seen before. Then next we went to the storehouse across from the first one, where a whole lot of the food was kept. There were many, many huge boxes which were probably about 5 feet high and 5 feet wide, that were filled with food. Not to mention all those filled up banana boxes. I was looking around in there going, this is a lot of food, and Aunt Bev's all, man I think we're going to run out, this isn't enough. My answer to that was only gaping at her and the boxes, wide eyed.
The next stop was the fridge and freezer, which were unsurprisingly huge, though the freezer wasn't terribly full, but instead rather empty. Throughout the tour I took several pictures though the ones in the freezer came out kind of blurry. You'd better like them though after I stood in that freezing freezer for that long. We then walked to the end of the warehouse lineup and ran into the Garden. The Garden Aunt Bev explained to me, was a place that kids went to, to plant fruits and vegetables for the food bank. These gardeners did an awesome job, believe me, I tried a tomato, it was just like those cherry tomatoes only orange and small, and really good. I even got to see the resident Garden agitators, the birds. A mother bird was teaching t\her children how to fly and I got a picture of their nest too. There was a storage shed where all the tools and stuff are kept that was donated also.
We went back to the office where we say a van coming to pick up food stuff for some organization or other. The food had been neatly packed in boxes and sitting there labeled for whomever came to get it. Then Aunt Bev introduced me to Raven a staff member who she thought would be good to interview, since she was the one into volunteer stuff. So up to the upstairs office I went and after the interview which went great by the way, I found myself downstairs again lounging in the main office holding and entertaining Liam. Thinking it over I made my mind up to go outside into the warehouse with the volunteers again. So I gave Liam over to Jess and asked Aunt Bev if I could go out to maybe get an interview with a volunteer and take a couple pictures. Aunt Bev said it was fine so out I went.
After a couple quick questions and pics I tried my hand at sorting. Grabbing a basket I went over to one of the big boxes and started piling food in the basket like I was told and then taking the full basket to the center table and getting a new basket to fill. Before long the food was down so low that I could lean almost my full top over the edge and not reach the food, still. I had to stand on a crate and eventually the guy had to climb in the box and hand the baskets to me while I handed him new ones. It was actually fun (sorting food, who would have thought?) and I saw a very wide variety of foods, too. But soon Aunt Bev was coming in and telling me that Jess was ready to head out. So I and gathering up my stuff I left the building to head for the van and taking Liam buckle him in. we said our last goodbyes to Aunt Bev and I thanked her once more. we headed towards home and along the way Jess dropped me at the transit to go to school. That was my experience at the Oregon Food Bank.