Vice President Helps Dish Out Free Meal
This Monday, I decided to volunteer a few hours at D.C. homeless service organization, So Others Might Eat (SOME). It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, “A Day on Not a Day Off.” I was just trying to do my civic duty, you know, no big deal. During high school, I had logged hours with SOME while fulfilling volunteer requirements and knew they would make good use of volunteers while serving the afternoon meal. Founded in 1970 by D.C. faith-based icon Father Horace McKenna, SOME provides basic needs to D.C.’s homeless such as meals, clothing and health care in addition to more comprehensive services like employment training and transitional housing.
So there I was on the serving line, a fresh face with hairnet and apron on ready to ladle out some good when in walks a tall gentleman surrounded by large men with suits and earpieces. The energy in the room picked up as he made his way down the line shaking hands with the volunteers. He has a cocked and gleaming grin and looks the picture of hale, avuncular health. My first thought is, “I have seen this man before, but I can’t remember when.” When he reaches me, hand outstretched, it clicks. “Hello, Mr. Vice President,” I say. “Very nice to meet you.”
He assured me the feeling was mutual and moved on down the line. The Veep! Here at SOME! Uncle Joe out with the people for a day of service. As the SOME clients walked in for their lunch, Biden greeted them, handing out plates of lasagna, beans, bread and cookies. The clients were grateful if not a little flummoxed. “The vice president just gave me my lunch,” one of them said, “The vice president.”
Biden stayed on the line for the whole first lunch serving, dishing out zingers and flashing grins. His jolly self heightened the positives of volunteering — a social time with laughs and good work.
I can’t promise a head of state will be there all the time, but SOME allows volunteers an easy opportunity to show up and get plugged in without much training or preparation. If you are looking to become more involved in your community, consider helping out at one of the 253,869 hot meals that SOME serves a year.
Richard is a freelance writer who enjoys building a healthy appetite with long runs around the city. When not logging the miles, he can be spotted training the palate at brunches, happy hours and food trucks.