Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas deliveries for Food and Friends

Today (Boxing Day, or Christmas Day II), I did a one-day (for now) Holiday volunteer assignment that I used to do more of in the 1990s when I lived here before, deliver for Food and Friends, link here
In the 1990s, the group had been located in SE DC, near the Waterfront and Navy Yard. Now it is located in a much larger space near the Fort Totten Metro in NE Washington DC.  There is major road work at the intersection of Riggs Road and S. Dakota Ave. but that did not cause problems.  By the way, there was major police presence watching for speeders on N. Capitol Street, where in some places the speed limit is just 25 mph despite being a divided highway with tunnels under major intersections and limited turn access.  (I think speed limits should be reasonable so they will be respected as posted.  Washington DC is one of the strictest locations in the nation for traffic law enforcement, including photo enforcement of limits.)
Previously, I had volunteered many Wednesday nights and dealt with donation collections.
Since about 2000, the group has expanded its focus on food for many clients, not just people with AIDS. 
On Dec. 10, NBC “American Giving” had honored a similar organization, “Move for Hunger” (link).
I can’t talk about where I went (finding addresses takes time, just as it did with Census), but I can say that in general, the client base is much more varied than it had been fifteen years ago, in many aspects.  Insofar as AIDS and HIV is visible in the community at large, it no longer seems to be targeting the gay male community the way official statistics say that it does. 

Will I do more?  I can say that, given my plans, I am reluctant to commit to another group's schedule.  One could pose questions for their own sake.  Do I cook?  No, I don't.  It's hard to do a lot of different things rally well.  Some volunteers do work in their large commercial kitchen.  I do have friends who are both artists and cooks at the same time. But there is only time to master so much. 

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