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Rice, Beans and a Date – It’s all Available at Your Local Food Bank

2011 December 5
by admin

Rice, Beans and a Date – It’s all Available at Your Local Food Bank
This guest blog is by Syrah and featuring Al Clad, members of The Food-Sensitive Foodie Team

The scene:
The San Francisco Food Bank annual Penn State SF/Bay Area Chapter Community Service Day. A cool, crisp December morning. Two good-looking Penn State alumni volunteers emptied countless barrels of food collected from local grocery stores and sorted them into food groups – vegetable, fruit, and bread products.

The meet-cute:
Syrah: I volunteer my time for the Penn State Chapter serving as a young alumni chair. That morning I was there greeting alumni from participating Big Ten schools.

Al Clad: Apparently, during that time I was finishing my crepe at the Crepe House before heading to the Food Bank to volunteer…and then some. I had ulterior motives – I had done my Facebook research!

Syrah: His supposed ulterior motives were not clear to me. He showed up an hour late with a girl I presumed to be his girlfriend! Who shows up an hour late to volunteer?

Al Clad: Turns out my late arrival meant I had missed the heavy lifting (and was down some points in the first impression department). Seriously though, I hate being late but yes I did show up an hour late. I couldn’t find the Food Bank! It was all the way across town from where I had breakfast. So, by the time I got there, I was sent straight to bagging rice and beans.

Syrah: We were bagging rice and beans (in hairnets — you’re welcome for the visual) when these two young Penn State alumni come strolling in LATE to help.

Al Clad: It was like a conveyor belt of mixed generations, men and women, all wearing the colors of their alma mater. The girl-who-was-NOT-my-girlfriend and I quickly gravitated to the sea of blue and white.

Syrah: The Late Guy in his Penn State hat quickly took a place one table over from me while his “girlfriend” joined my table. Girlfriend or not, late or not, I’ll admit it, I was curious about this young guy with a huge smile and contagious laugh.

Al Clad: I wish I had joined Syrah’s table. Instead, I filled the open spot next to the two “mature” alumni of the group, but I kept the girl in the purple shoes and ripped jeans in my peripheral vision. You see, I had done my homework before signing up for the Food Bank. Facebook had assured me there would be cute girls participating.

Later that night:
While our volunteer duties at the Food Bank kept us from doing anything but exchanging sideward glances, the alumni mixer following our community service day did give us a chance to chat – free of hairnets, rice and beans. A date was set and a few nights later Al Clad and I went on our first date.

It’s been nearly a year since our food bank outing and first date. We are grateful for the Food Bank for the good they do within our community, and for bringing us together. We’ll be giving to our local Food Bank again this year – and lucky for us, rice and beans are gluten-free so we’re giving gluten-freely! We encourage you to give to your local Food Bank this holiday season or donate your time. Make the holidays memorable for another family in your community. And just maybe score a date!

Inspired to give, and maybe even meet someone new? Check out our list of what you can donate and where you can give…and when you do, make sure you give gluten-freely this holiday season!

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