West Coast Challengers returned to the Orange County Food Bank in Garden Grove, CA, to once again volunteer to help the elderly and less fortunate families in our communities, who are dependent upon the gifts of food. The Orange County Food Bank distributes 15 million pounds of food annually. In addition to the 23,000 people that the food bank serves directly each month, it also provides food and personal care items to over 300 charitable organizations.

Club members met up around the corner from the food bank and then caravanned over together. Upon arriving, the club was greeted outside by the volunteer staff and after a brief introduction to the food bank by one of its volunteer coordinators about what the food bank does and who it serves, club members were escorted to the assembly line area. Each volunteer was assigned a specific task on the assembly line, from keeping product moving to the line to putting a specific food item into a box and then sending that box on down the line to the next person, and finally to the end where the box would be sealed and stacked on a pallet. Once a pallet was filled, it would be moved away via a fork lift and club member Don would shout out its number to keep everyone informed of the club’s progress.

Excitement rushed over the volunteers when club member Don announced that we just surpassed the club’s efforts from last year, 1,044 boxes of food. Working at a feverish and non-stop pace for several hours, club members were able to caringly pack 1,579 boxes of food for our community residents, over 50% more than last year. The work ethic of the club members was once again outstanding.

This year, as a challenge to the club members, both Keith and Larry generously agreed to donate, on behalf of the club, one dollar each for every box of food packed by the club members. So, in addition to packing 1,579 boxes of food, the food bank also received a financial donation from us in the amount $3,158.00.

A heart felt thank you and the club’s appreciation goes out to all of the hard working volunteers who made our accomplishment possible.

After spending the morning volunteering at the food bank, club members took a short caravan over to Shakey’s Pizza in Garden Grove, CA. It was great to sit and relax over lunch and exchange stories of our individual experiences at the food bank, many of which centered around being fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer.

The entire experience comes as a humble reminder of how fortunate we are, as well as working to fulfill the club’s mission to support our local communities and charities. Thank you to everyone who came out to volunteer.

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If you or your group would like to volunteer at the food bank, please contact the Orange County Food Bank for more information. As with any charitable organization, the food bank also accepts financial donations.