Tag Archives: Ashland Emergency Food Bank

You say it’s Pi Day? Seems like it’s always Pie Day around here!

15 Mar

A few weeks ago, my husband Emile read an article about the Ashland Emergency Food Bank in the local paper.  The focus of the article was that the food bank was going to hold an open house/pie social to launch a capital campaign to purchase the facility where they are currently housed.  If they succeed in doing this, the food bank will attain a permanent home and thereby ensure its presence in our community for years to come.

After he read the article, Emile turned to me and said, “Don’t you think you should help with that?”  There he goes again… always thinking up good things for me to do!  But his suggestion intrigued me enough to call Pam Marsh, the director of the food bank and ask her about her plan for making pies for the social.  Pam’s response – “I haven’t gotten that far yet!” was something I could easily identify with.  I’m not big on planning which sometimes can be problematic.  However, most of the time things work out just fine.   Pam and I talked a bit over the next week or so and we arranged a day to meet at the First Presbyterian Church with as many people as we could gather together to bake pies!

Pie Baking for the Food Bank

The morning of the bake-fest I showed up early and brewed some coffee and waited hopefully.  Soon Pam arrived with loads of ingredients (including a case of apples) and for a few minutes it was just me and Pam.  Then, one by one, the ladies showed up.  They came carrying rolling pins and aprons and were ready to work.   It was absolutely wonderful!  In no time at all, we assembled 24 beautiful pies.  Most of the pies were apple, but there were a few berry pies in the mix as well.   I’d like to offer my deepest thanks to each of those ladies for putting their caring hearts and valuable time into this event.  The “Pie” volunteers are (listed alphabetically): Carol Baker (perfect name for the project, no?), Patty Chase, Barbara Hanson, Linda Lanzhammer, Barbara Marsh, Kathy Sager, and Leslie Sargent.

The Pie Social was held on Sunday, March 10.  It was  a beautiful day and many people showed up to show their support for the food bank,  to visit with like-minded individuals, and (drum roll please!) to enjoy a piece of pie!  It was a terrific event and I am so glad that Emile suggested that I get involved.  Because of his idea I met Pam… and got to work on a fun project with a great bunch of women.

Another team that I am proud to be a part of is the volunteer group that works at the Rotary Garden.  This is the fourth year that the Ashland Rotary Club has been growing vegetables for the food bank.  One of our Rotarians came up with the idea and from that flash of inspiration we have raised thousands of pounds of fresh produce that has benefited the needy people of Ashland.

Ann Marie and me at the Rotary Garden

Ann Marie Hutson and I worked yesterday at the garden sifting soil.

As great as that is, I have discovered a personal “perk” from volunteering my time for the garden.  I’ve found that by working side by side with my fellow Rotarians we have become better acquainted, and true friendships have developed.

Yesterday, on International “Pi Day”, I baked an Apple Blueberry pie for Mark Jaffe, the current coordinator of our garden project.  I want to thank him for taking the helm of this very rewarding and worthwhile endeavor.

apple blueberry pie

Apple Blueberry Pie

“Candy might be sweet, but it’s a traveling carnival blowing through town. Pie is home. People always come home.” ~ Pushing Daisies

 

Day 164: Good News!

17 Sep

Saturday mornings I try to make it out to the Rotary Garden. There is a group of us who meet each week to work in the garden – and that may mean mowing, weeding or harvesting. Last year our club donated more than 3,000 pounds of fresh produce to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

Our volunteers vary from week to week because we all tend to be involved in many areas. There are a few folks that are always at the garden and then there are the rest of us. Last week I missed working at the garden on Saturday because I had worked late the night before. And even though I needed to take the time off, I really missed my time at the garden.

Today the number of gardeners was small, but three of us had brought treats to share. Since the food bank was closed for the weekend while it changes locations, our workload was a bit lighter than usual. Our new leader mowed the grass, while the rest of us harvested potatoes, onions, green beans, squash and tomatoes. And of course we found time to catch up with one another and taste the goodies that were provided.

It was during one of these breaks when one of our volunteers shared her good news with us. And while I can’t divulge her news, I want you to know how happy we all were to hear it. And that was as good a reason as any for a pie.

This afternoon I made my friend a sausage and mushroom quiche to celebrate her good news. And because she is such a busy person, she was not home when I tried to deliver her pie (nor did she answer my repeated phone calls). When she did finally return home and got my message, she returned my call and we arranged for her to get her quiche early tomorrow morning.

The weird thing about this? This woman had spent the evening at a friends house down the street from my house! Isn’t that strange? She was on my mind and down the street… but I had no way of knowing. Oh well. She knows that I was thinking of her and she will (eventually) get her quiche. And for today, that is the best that I can do.

Day 157: Ashland H2O Polo

10 Sep

My neighbor Ellen suggested that I bring a pie to the Army National Guard soldiers today. It seems that these soldiers planned on spending their day cleaning up the space where the Ashland Emergency Food Bank will soon be located. What a marvelous idea!

Since I was told that there would be more than 20 soldiers, I chose to bring them Marionberry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream instead of baking 3 or more pies. Unfortunately, when I got to the building, there was not a soldier in sight. Not to be deterred, I drove to the National Guard Armory where there were lots of cars in the parking lot.

Now, you can’t just walk into the armory. You need to call the phone number on the door and talk to someone in charge. That person answered my call and listened to my story; I won’t bore you with the details. When I was done, the soldier thanked me and told me that they had finished the cleanup early but were now involved in a training and could not stop for a break because they were behind (due to the time spent cleaning I surmised). He said several times, “We really appreciate this so much, Ma’am. Thank you for thinking of us.”

Sadly, I drove away and thought, “Now what?” Where does one find twenty or more deserving people all in the same place? I hadn’t driven 2 blocks before I remembered that the Ashland High School Water Polo team was having a giant yard sale a few blocks from where I was. In minutes I was at the sale. Quickly I found someone in charge and told her my story. I was then directed to Betty, the woman in charge of snacks. She showed me where I could set up and I brought the Marionberry filling, the cobbler biscuits, and the ice cream and started dishing servings of cobbler. Within moments word spread and a line of hot, hungry teenagers appeared, as well as a number of parents. Several folks wanted to thank the National Guard for making this treat possible, while several others watched me curiously. At least one person mentioned that they would be there again tomorrow! (Sale hours on Sunday are from 9-3 in the Lincoln School Parking lot on Siskiyou Boulevard).

Before long, my dessert offering was consumed. It was quite fun to bring a surprise treat to the folks that were working so hard on a sweltering hot day to raise money for their team. As I was leaving, I thought how things had worked out after all. And then one young man came up to me with a smile on his face and said, “You really made my day.” I ask you, does it get any better than this?

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