Friday, December 07, 2012
If you ask me about places I'll miss in Madison after I move away, a food pantry will be near the top of the list. The name of the place is The River, located near the airport in Madison. I've been fortunate enough to not need to be a client of the pantry, despite unenployment. Instead, it is one of those places that you can go to, help out in a small way, and feel good about both for yourself, and for the crucial good it does for those it helps.
It's a place that certainly faith based, but doesn't club you over the head with that aspect of its function. That's something I definitely have appreciated over the years, due to my own not very religious tendencies. Funny thing, I first volunteered there when tagging along with an ex girlfriend's church life group, and I continued going there even after that relationship ended over issue of religion. I don't think its something I would have continued doing if the religious aspect was an in your face presence, as can be the case at other food pantries (especially those associated with specific churches, which is understandable).
Basically, it's a place I looked forward to getting to whenever I could, even when it meant a 45 minute commute through rush hour traffic on a Friday from my previous job. It's a place that I've volunteered at since 2006 or 2007, and tonight was the last time I'll go there on a Friday, the busiest session of the week. I'm planning on going to one of the midweek sessions next week, to get one last little fix of the good people who run the place, Andy and Jenny Czerkas, who've won awards for their work at the River. But I'm a little sad right now, because I'll definitely miss the River and its people.
Hoping to find something similar in the Ann Arbor area.