Waffles, Canned Goods and Interfaith – oh my

By Adah Shair
Waffles! What gets better than waffles for breakfast? FREE WAFFLES!

The UNF Interfaith Lend-a-wing pantry project started off with warm and delicious waffles made to order by Waffle House. Lend-a-wing pantry is an anonymous food pantry that became available to UNF students on April 3, 2012. It is located in Hick’s Hall, the place where you go to get your financial aid sorted out, aka Onestop. UNF students can get food and other personal hygiene items for no cost. The only requirement is that students show their UNF ID to ensure that the supplies are going to UNF students. A student is welcome to take 5 pounds of items per day. The pantry receives continuous donations and volunteers are needed to sort the food items and stock the shelves.

Lend-a-wing Pantry Service project was the third promotional event leading up to Interfaith week; Turban Day and ‘Divided we Fall’ documentary showing being the first and second respectively. The Interfaith Week Planning Committee, a committee of students and interfaith center staff, while deciding upon the number and nature of events to be held during Interfaith week ensured that all aspects of Interfaith work (awareness, education, conversation and service) are included. The Lend-wing pantry service project upheld the service aspect of Inter faith work. And as they say, “Service begins at home” (charity begins at home is what they say actually, but charity is generous while service is a duty, and if one is incapable of performing one’s duty , much should not be expected from one in generosity), the service was intended towards our fellow UNF students.

I entered the Lend-a-Wing pantry to a smell of warm sugary waffles and a sight of warm familiar faces. I knew a lot of the volunteers from either the Interfaith Center or the Ospreys in Actions service project trip scheduled for this spring break and sponsored by the UNF Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL). We spent the next three hours sorting food cans into different categories and stocking the shelves. All food cans had to be inspected for the expiration date and for any damage that may lead to bacteria. “Corn and sweet peas go on the shelves to your right, beans have a shelf of their own, and soup needs to be transported to the other side of the room.” Seemingly trivial tasks! What’s so notable about putting sweet corn cans in the right place? First, they were a minority and to find them in a sea of red bean cans is a skill of great precision and patience. Second, sometimes it is the little things we do; like holding the door for someone, smiling at the person who holds the door for us, making sure the food is not expired while we are stocking it at a pantry so a fellow student that we may never get to know can have a warm meal before bed, is what makes us so brilliantly human.

What else makes us brilliant? To know Campbell’s produces food items other than soups!

And waffles, of course.

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