Bagging peaches. Yup, that's right. I can bag a mean bag of peaches.
I did that for a good 2 hours before my back started hurting and I got really sick and tired of looking at peaches. And then, as someone put it, I held up the conveyor belt for a bit.
It's really sad to realize how many peaches get put to the side because they are too small, too big, too funky looking, have too much of a peach butt crack, and are cut here and there from the pickers (assuming). Then you have to realize what you can do with a big bag of imperfect peaches, which is, in fact, a lot.
Sadly our standards of fruit were much higher than the food bank's and we were all tossing any slightly bruised or cut peach into the "dump" bin. That is, until the lady supervising us noodle heads told us a bruise is okay and a slight cut? OKAY. So then some of our group broke off to go through the tossed peaches to bag up the "okay" ones.
We're so corporate we made our own QA team.
It was easy yet tiring work. I've always been one for monotonous work, unless it's dusting bins, which I had to do on occasion at a music store I worked at. For whatever reason I hated that. But doing the same thing over and over and over is okay with me. It's refreshing. I have to think but not too much, and I can talk when I feel like it. It's just nice.
What's not nice is having to sort through dumped pantry items and wash down the boxes, containers, jars, whathaveyou, with a mixture of water and bleach. And trying to figure out if it the completely smashed up box was still okay or if the sorta chewed corner was from a rat eating it.
And the pigs.
Did you know there were pigs involved with food banks? I certainly didn't.
I'm a born animal lover. So when we were told to put the nibbled food container items into the "pig bin" (and yes, there really was one), except for chocolate because chocolate makes momma pigs abort their babies (why she couldn't just tell us not to put chocolate in the bins and leave it at that, I do not know), I was all, "Oh! PIGS!"
The first item that looked nibbled, I told someone to put it in the pig bin. That's when another food bank worker chided me for wanting to give the pigs food eaten by rats. "No, honey, not food eaten by rats," she said.
Okay. So then, what the heck do the pigs get to eat? Why is there a pig bin???
When I asked that same question, she looked at me like I was completely stupid and said again, "but the rats...not the food eaten by rats."
So I'm still at a loss about that one. I just hope the pigs get to eat.
So what odd things did we sort through? Rogaine, for one. Tons of South Beach Diet bars and powdered Slim Fast. And candy and cookies up the wazoo. You know, family staples.
All in all, it was a good experience. And when Mateo is old enough, we have plans of forcing him to volunteer with us. And maybe by then I'll get the full story behind what the pigs really do eat.