Bay Farm School Contributes to Food Bank

By staff writer Waverley Achacoso

On Friday, November 18, children from grades K-8 gathered on the green in the center of Bay Farm School. This is where grades K-5 meet everyday for morning assemblies when it is not raining, and where grades K-8 meet every Friday for morning assemblies.

But this was a special morning assembly. Students filled red donation barrels from the Alameda Food Bank with food donations they brought for residents of Alameda in need of food.

Each grade had a special assignment for what to bring. For Kindergarten it was soup; 1st grade was canned fruit, and 2nd grade was canned vegetables. 3rd grade was rice, ramen, dry pasta, and stove top stuffing, and 4th grade was biscuit mix, syrup, cake, and brownie mix. 5th grade was chili and pork and beans, 6th grade was dry cereal/oatmeal and macaroni and cheese, and 7th and 8th grade were peanut butter, jelly and canned tuna.

But where did all that food go?

The simple answer would be: “to hungry people.” But there’s a detailed process in getting the food to those in need, the people who have applied to receive food from the food bank.

The food bank is run by volunteers. The tasks include picking up food, sorting it, giving it to clients, helping clients choose healthy food, and driving to houses to drop off food. Volunteers also work in the office, answering emails and dealing with business, and still others who work from home finding sponsors or making advertisements.

Eighth grade teacher Katie Linderme volunteers regularly at the food bank.

“It all started because my brother kicked our front door down,” said Ms. Linderme. “My family was really mad, and so they got creative into how my brother was going to ‘pay off’ the door. Since my parents didn’t believe in grounding, and we both didn’t get allowance, my parents started to look into community service options. I decided to go because it seemed kind of fun, and I liked the cause. We have been going on our own accord ever since. We’ve made so many friends from the food bank, that really it has sort of turned into a second home.”

At the food bank, Ms. Linderme works at one of three jobs. The first one is simply taking whatever fruit or vegetable they have on hand that day, bagging it, and placing into piles to be sorted to go to different food banks for selling. The second job is to sort through canned foods, which happens most around the holidays. The third job is to get donated boxes, fill them up with the last stream of good quality cans and food, and box them up to donate to families in need.

“I have met some really cool people. We have lots of family friends who even come over for Thanksgiving that work at the food bank,” said Ms. Linderme. “I’m also really a huge fan of working with people towards a common goal that I really believe in. I always say this to people, but you will never look at food the same way again once you’ve done work at the Food Bank.”

Bay Farm School takes part by donating barrels of food to the Alameda Food Bank.

“Hunger in America is a HUGE problem, and anything I/we can do to help really makes me feel better,” said Ms. Linderme. “It’s also really nice to know that in turbulent times where there is so much uncertainty, the Food Bank is there to really help. I love the mission statement for the food bank – it is to no longer be needed and no longer exist.”