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I started helping out with The Lost Food Project in December 2016. I joined up because I was looking for something useful to do which would not be too challenging to start with, and I was asked to meet up with Sharlene at Mercato in Plaza Damas and help with delivery of food to one of the charities, as I have a car and I’m not afraid to use it! That first time I more or less just watched what was going on and then pointed my car in the right direction with the boxes of food piled in the back.
Now that we have the TLFP lorry, it’s a lot easier because there’s no driving for me, and it feels a lot more professional. Sharlene and I work as a team together on Wednesdays to make sure we cover all the Mercato pick-ups, check the goods against the list, separate the boxes according to the charity that they’re going to, fill in the forms and send all on its way with Mr Ramesh. We really appreciate his help as the boxes are heavy, but also because he’s a really considerate and kind person to work with.
Even though I only see a small part of the total operation, it’s clear there’s a lot going on and a lot of organisation and hard work behind bringing the supermarkets on board and connecting the charities with the food. There are lots of different jobs to be done in all sorts of areas, and it’s a volunteer opportunity that can really grow with the time you have to give and whatever your interests and talents are.
It is rewarding to be part of such a great project. I love working with Sharlene who is super organised and fun to be with. For the moment, having a defined role on a regular basis is a way to “give back” which is convenient for me and fits well within my schedule. Now that I know the charity better, I’m thinking of expanding my commitment as I feel I have more time and energy I could give.
Sally McEachen, TLFP volunteer, April 2017