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chocolate cake

The Food & Care Coalition is starting a new section on our blog posts that highlights volunteer experiences.  This post comes from our friend Kate with InsideSales.  If you’d like to submit a blog post regarding your experiences here, email [email protected].

“On Aug. 22, I learned to serve a rich, gooey chocolate cake with an ice cream scoop. And I don’t think I’m ever going back to the cutting method.  I volunteered for a two-hour block of serving hot meals to about 80 people, and I will tell you that the cake-serving innovation is not the only thing Food & Care is getting right.

As corporations have figured out the value of “community consciousness” and “giving back” as a necessary part of their corporate image and hiring success, employee volunteering programs have become almost mainstream.

Cool, right? But the problem is that because of that very popularity, companies are increasingly pasting on the banner of community awareness like a Band-Aid and forgetting about it.

I believe that we, as citizens, are responsible for giving one another every chance to thrive. For me, it would be a deal-breaker if I didn’t feel my employer was committed to community improvement.

So when I applied at in Provo, I asked point-blank in my interview if the company’s claim of caring about the community was actually an integral part of its culture.

Through its Do Good Foundation, donates 1 percent of its employees’ time, 1 percent of its product and 1 percent of its revenue to worthy causes.

I was assured that’s commitment to the community is real. I am pleased to report that the Food & Care Coalition has given me the means to put a little bit of my company’s money where its mouth is.

We have an ongoing commitment to provide 10 employees every month to help serve dinner at Food & Care. We distribute ice water, load up trays with every food group imaginable (there is always a soup or salad or vegetable, main course, fruit, some kind of bread, and something tasty for dessert) and then clean up. It’s all done to commercial-grade sanitation standards. I’ve never washed my hands so many times in a two-hour period in my life.

Did you read that? Dessert. That is the biggest reason I love to volunteer with Food & Care. They aren’t prescribing what they think is best for the hungry population of our community. They are providing the means (not handouts) for everyone in the community to be a part of a basic standard of living that should include little normalcies, like cake, that might otherwise be defined as luxuries.

While dozens of well-meaning organizations of all sizes are throwing time and money at the brick wall of hunger and poverty – trying to slice that cake the most obvious way – Food & Care Coalition is turning over the knife and facilitating a sustainable lifestyle for these individuals.

I love to know that I’m scooping a dollop of chocolate cake donated by Costco onto a tray next to cantaloupe donated by a local farm next to a bowl of soup donated by Olive Garden. It takes a village to raise a child. It takes an entire community of compassionate citizens and corporate partners to lift up the less fortunate.

I love that I get to step away from my computer screen for a couple of hours and put my own kinetic energy into serving delicious chemical energy to someone who may be running low on potential energy. So thank you, Food & Care, for seeing the hidden potential in an ice cream scoop and the hidden potential in all of us.”