On the 19th August, Saturday, over 40 Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) and Young Adult Division (YAD) members from San Francisco Chapter came to assist at the SF Marin Food Bank. The SF Marin Food Bank aims for a community where everyone can obtain enough nutritious food to support the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families. The food bank takes part in tackling the hunger issue in San Francisco.
While the SF Marin Food Bank aims to solve the hunger issue in San Francisco, programs such as volunteering helps to raise awareness of this issue in the community. Therefore, the BLIA and YAD members who came to assist at the Food Bank come from different age ranges. The youngest member who came was a girl who was just 7 years of age! The members are not strangers to this event, as they have been volunteering regularly since some years ago. The task for the day was to sort edible fruits from those that were not. At the end of the event, the team managed to sort out 37,000 pounds of edible fruits.
Kenny, a member of the San Francisco YAD said,“While sorting out fruits the entire afternoon is very tiring, I am satisfied because I was able to help the community who needs food. I’m also happy that there are many people who also share the same aspirations and values”. Another member, Prateek, a PhD. Candidate, also took time out of his busy schedule for this event. After seeing many fruits that can still be eaten, he could not help but wonder why customers at supermarkets discarded these fruits based on small flaws. He felt that this event is significant in raising awareness of food wastage and recycling. San Francisco YAD member Winson saw a lesson in life from this event. “We cannot just take one look at the outer appearance of the plum and decide whether it is good or bad. Even though it may have one or two black spots, does the fruit taste any different from the rest? If you peel of the skin, the fruit underneath is still the same fruit. It is the same for us. Don’t judge people by their appearance. We all have the same Buddha nature inside”.
Overall this event was very fulfilling for many of the members. They learned more about food recycling, awareness of hunger in San Francisco, and lessons towards life as well. Many are also enthusiastic to help at similar events in future.
Text: Winson Yang
Edited: Venerable Miao Zhong