Monday, January 24, 2011

love is this. this is love.

When it came to talking to people at the Mobile Food Initiative at Kalamazoo Community Church, I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I was worried about offending people somehow and I was nervous they'd all tell me to just go away.

Thankfully, Kim (my BFF and the Communications Coordinator at Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes ) was there to encourage me and push me along. Once I started talking, I was fine :) Thanks for your help, Cameo!

When people come in to get food at these Mobile Food Initiatives, they have to sign in and fill out a slip of paper which states their name and how many people they are getting food for. They have to carry this paper with them throughout the whole process, and then turn it in at the end. This is the way KLF keeps track of how many people they have served at each MFI. 

After they fill out their paper, and before the doors open to get food, the people all sit in the sanctuary area. This is where I got to get to know some of them. 

These two little girls were adorable, and so talkative. They were there with their mom and just as happy as can be.

You will get to see more pictures of the people I got to know in the next blog post. Since I had to have signed waivers of all the people in the photographs, I had to try and only take pictures of the people I met in line while everyone was getting food.

I'm not sure how to say this without sounding horrible, but I think the hardest part of the day was to hold back judgment. I didn't know what to expect to see when I got there, but I wasn't prepared for the variety of people that I found. I expected to see the "typical" poor person, but that was not the case.

There were college students, there were elders, there were families with kids. There were hundreds of people there. And while I was only able to talk to a handful of them, I couldn't help but wonder the rest of their stories. 

For example, the college girls, I assumed they saw a "free food" sign somewhere, and just came running. But then I caught myself and immediately felt awful because I DON'T know their story. Maybe they have a kid at home and do everything to take care of them first, including buying the child's food first...and came because there just isn't enough money left after providing for the child.

After that thought process, I tried really hard the rest of the day to just tell my mind to be quiet. Because the bottom line is that there were hundreds of people there in the middle of a blizzard because they needed food. 

I don't know all of their stories, and probably never will. Maybe they are taking advantage of it, but maybe they're not. I might not ever know that either. But if I have to choose between helping out with love, or not helping out because of my prejudgments...I'll choose love. Every time.

Stay tuned for more pictures from the MFI! Update on my food drive = 88 items of food donated so far! Nice work! 

Click here to donate to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes or contact me if you'd like to donate food!

Be the change. Make the difference.


  1. Beautiful story. It isn't easy to be honest, especially when it comes down to your initial judgments, but that was the best part. All of us can relate to you and that is what makes these stories great. I would have the same initial thoughts about the "college girls" and to be honest I am not sure if I would have changed my mind like you did. You are a strong woman. Keep on bloggin girl :)