While I am in school I have a job at a food distribution center, Second Harvest. For those of you unfamiliar with the term “food distribution” basically that means this is where companies, grocery stores or even individuals donate food and produce to food banks. I work with volunteers each day to sort through the salvageable versus unusable food. In one sort we will go through a couple thousand pounds of food to send off to food banks around the Inland Northwest. I work to make sure that everyone in the surrounding community is able to have fresh food on their table. This work is not glamorous, but it is a well paying work study job that allowed me to keep busy all day. While the work is not exhilarating it is inspiring and rewarding to see the nourishment provided from each sort.
When I am at home I work in the complete opposite spectrum of the food industry. I earn my living at a luxurious golf course restaurant, The Newcastle Golf Club. The club, which all of its employees affectionately call, The Castle, caters to the needs of individuals that earn a generous living.
It is difficult to go between each job since the daily goals are so different. At one job I am deciding if a piece of produce is too bruised to to be used; while at the other I am serving an obscene portion of food. It can be disheartening to go from a workplace where the food provided is very needed and appreciated, and then to the other where food is wasted.
The restaurant industry is so focused on creating a luxurious experience that the portions have become absurd. Millions of pounds of food end up in the dumpster every day because of fine dining establishments. I’m not writing this to deter everyone from dining out, but I do want consumers to think about their food. I want the millennial generation to understand the work that goes behind feeding America. No matter where you are sitting down to eat your meal just take the time to think about the people that got the food to your table.
This is my personal thank you to those that work to provide me with food. Thank you to all that work day and night to bring something special to my table. Thank you to all the farmers that are constantly maintaining their crops. Thank you to all chefs for creating something wonderful for me to consumer. Thank you to all the servers that make my dining experiences seamless. Thank you to my mom for making me many delicious meals. Thank you to all that make consuming food an easy process, because I know it is tough work.