Food Runners

Monday, February 1, 2016

Touching Lives

by Besty Nolan, Volunteer

Food Runners touches lives. For years, my husband Robert and I couldn’t wait for our Saturday food run to the Fillmore Farmers Market. At the market we would collect food donations from the vendors for delivery to Walden House. Recently, illness has forced Robert to stop. Since we live just down the street from the market and I go there to shop any way, I was able to continue, but not without help. At first, Maria our wonderful housekeeper helped, and then, one by one, her children joined in. Now all the vendors look forward to seeing Maria and the kids, and the kids look forward to helping their community. Here in their own words is what Food Runners means to them.

“One day Robert was not feeling and had to go to the hospital,” recalls 10 year old Kimberly. “Miss Betsy asked my mom if she could do Food Runners, but without the car since Miss Betsy needed it to take Robert to the hospital. Me and my mom and my two brothers walked to the market  When we were done picking up  the food, we had to walk up a big hill to get to the Walden House. We got so tired we almost couldn’t walk anymore. But in the end we were all very glad that we did it. The people in the market felt good helping us. Helping Miss Betsy and Robert and other people; that is what makes me happy.”

Kimberly collecting donations
“We had done Food Runners before, but we had always done it with a car driven by Miss Betsy,” reports Steven, age 13. “Even though me and my family knew the challenge of walking up the hills we did it because we like knowing that the food we have collected is going to feed people who need it rather than just ending up in some compost bin.”

Steven receiving donations
“When my mother woke me up one Saturday at 7 AM and said I needed to help her friend collect food at the local farmer’s market, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I mean, it was Saturday morning and waking up a teenager on a Saturday morning is like waking up a hibernating bear,” laughs 17 year old Angel. “I’m glad I decided to help Betsy at the market. I help frequently now. The experience has given me new friends and a whole new perspective on how I can help others simply by donating my time and manpower. It means giving up my Saturday mornings, but it’s worth it. It feels good to know that not only are we helping feed people who are working hard to change their lives, but also, we are keeping perfectly good food out of landfill. I will be going away to college next fall but I know my little brother and sister will continue to help Betsy on Saturdays -- with curiosity, hope and optimism about making a difference to people. I am thankful to be a part of Food Runners.”

Angel delivering to Walden House
“Food Runners is an important project and I’m thankful that Betsy asked me to be a part of it with her,” states mother Maria. “I’m also very glad that my children have had the opportunity to give back. Helping with Food Runners has brought my children, Betsy, and Robert into a bigger family and I’m very grateful for that. We’ll always be there when there’s a pick up to be done.”

Entire family chugging up the hill on delivery