Our inbox is buzzing! Local volunteers want to know about the Community Plate food-rescue platform. Sunday’s Norwalk Hour had a great article that caused some of this interest and there is excitement here in Lower Fairfield County where we first launched our attack on American food-insecurity. People are calling, emailing and trying to find out what makes this thing tick.
We didn’t have a big “corporate values” meeting before we began, but since very early on there have been four things that have organically emerged as core to who we are. If you’re considering whether or not Community Plates is the right place for you to serve and invest your time, maybe these will provide you some direction.
1. Yes- Nice confusing way to begin right? An affirmative response however is core to who we are. When we’re talking to a potential donor (all of who have very different contexts and business parameters) it’s important that every time we can, we say yes to their requests. ”Can you pick-up food between 2:45 and 3:15 on Tuesday and Thursday?” ”When you come for your pickup can you please not interfere with our normal business operation?” “Can you respond to late night catering opportunities?” This same desire to accommodate is important when we are coordinating with the busy schedules of our volunteers. Our answer, whenever it can be, is yes- It is “yes” that allows us to grow.
2. Simplicity- One thing I’ve heard several times this week as potential volunteers are checking us out is, “I really like this idea because it’s very simple.” This is the truth. All we do is transfer healthy, surplus food from where it is being discarded to where it can used in the fight against hunger among our friends and neighbors. Simple doesn’t mean easy but one of our regular evaluations as we move forward will be to examine whether or not we are staying true to this value. It should be simple to donate and volunteer. It is “simplicity” that will sustain us.
3. Creativity- This is tied to the value of yes but being a young company we don’t have to approach either food-rescue or non-profit work like anyone else. Our best ideas will come from people who are actually rescuing food and in responding to those ideas. How we rescue food in six months might look very different than how it works today since we are committed to learning from our volunteers. It is “creativity” that renews our energy and keeps our passion alive.
4. Gratitude- We must say thank you! Repeatedly and sincerely. It is with thankfulness that we remind each other that there is another reality that was possible. That reality is one where people don’t care for each other and throw food away that could be used to help another. We reject that reality and replace with a thankful, more optimistic one of our own. It is “gratitude” that keeps us grounded and humble.
There are 50 million plus Americans that are counting on us. American food-insecurity is a problem that doesn’t have to be.
We need your help! Please join us.