This was my first time really volunteering at a soup kitchen. I had done a small community service once with a school, but this was something completely different.
I had signed up to volunteer at a nearby church. I had signed up last Monday for this Thursday, and it was a quick online process.
Well Thursday rolled around and before I knew it, I was on my way to the church. I was nervous because I didn’t know if I was going to be the only first timer. My fears were quickly alleviated when I saw a nice man who offered to check me in. After he signed me in, he took me on a tour of the kitchen and the dining room. Then another woman explained to myself and a few other newbies the procedure and how the soup kitchen works. It turns out there are lots of different jobs at the soup kitchen, and eventually everyone is able to experience each one.
On my first day, I was put on the duty of clearing and cleaning people’s trays. This job consisted of scraping the tray into the garbage, making sure the spoons were separated and making sure the cups were put into the recycling bin. I was working with some other people who traded jobs at different points, so I also sometimes brought the stack of trays and spoons into the kitchen to be cleaned.
Overall, I felt like it was a very rewarding experience. This kitchen serves between 850 to 1200 people a day! I was really excited that I was able to be a part of it. I am going to be going to the kitchen from now on at least once a week. Next time, I will probably be on a different job, whether it be serving, washing the trays, or welcoming guests as they enter.