Great Plains Food Bank: Teaching Life Lessons

Last week we took the kids on a field trip to the Great Plains Food Bank. The Great Plains Food Bank is a huge warehouse in North Fargo that serves as a part of a larger network of food pantries.

The kids were amazed at how large the building was. And of course were eager to use the scaffolding as a jungle gym.

The Great Plains volunteer coordinator explained that we would be putting ingredient labels on packages of sauce. Every food item that is sent out by the food bank must have the ingredients listed on it. These packages were not intended to be sold individually, but by placing a small sticker on it, the food bank would be able to distribute the packages.

We gathered the children around two tables and after some minor squabbling over packages of sauce and sheets of stickers, they quickly got the hang of it. In fact, within 5 minutes of starting, the table I was helping had formed their own assembly line. The first child would prepare the package by squishing the sauce around until it was flat. The second would pass the package to the third person, who was taking stickers off a sheet and placing them on the package. The fourth would place the finished package into the complete box.

It was impressive how well they worked together, with very little direction. The only instruction was not to cover any other directions on the package by the sticker. In addition to the main assembly line on our table, several pairs of kids also realized that when they worked together they could do more in the same amount of time than what they could do by themselves.

The kids spent that afternoon volunteering. Even though they didn’t get to work directly with the people they were helping, they understood that someone needed to do this job, and because they were the ones to do it, they were a part of the bigger process.

Even more than that, I hope they took away a lesson that many adults continue to struggle with, including myself.

When we work together, we get farther than when we try to do it alone.

They each could have worked individually, and we would have finished several boxes. But they realized that when they worked as a team, not only were they more efficient, but they had much more fun. We filled over 30 boxes that afternoon.

It was a great day for CHARISM.

-Intern Tori

2 thoughts on “Great Plains Food Bank: Teaching Life Lessons

  1. Glad everybody enjoyed the trip! I was amazed at how large the warehouse is as well! So happy that they can appreciate the concept of volunteering and working together! (Just like I am sure many of their family members do on Friday’s at GAP :) )

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