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>meatball pasta, peas and green beans, day 2 at Quarter Meals Soup Kitchen

(Moved from August 6, 2009)

Yesterday was Day 2 at Quarter Meals, Trinity United Methodist Church. (Day 1 report here.)

I feel like I've already become a seasoned volunteer. No one tells me what to do, but I know to take plastic flowers out of the pantry, place one on each table. I see new faces in the kitchen. Spider, the manager, is tossing the salad ingredients into a large plastic bin, also the "serving bowl." Again, my job is to greet the diners with a smile,
hand over platefuls of pasta and beans, a cup of water. Well, no one tells me to smile, but I figure smiles can't hurt.There are fewer diners compared to Tuesday. I ask Spider why that is. "Money management." "?" "Well, when they get their check, they go buy food for themselves, when they should come and get free food here. Bad money management." I nod. "When do they get their check?" "Well, some get it on the 1st of the month, some a little later." I ask about the absence of women diners here. "They cook better food at the Women's Shelter on Dwight. They have no reasons to leave."Not surprisingly, I recognize quite a few repeat visitors. Most are dressed the same as Tuesday. A kid I haven't seen before places his plate and water on his skateboard.

People line up for second helpings. A "first timer" gets priority. Some don't eat vegetables, some only eat vegetables. Dinner is over before you know it. I step out before 5 pm.
A beautiful
sunny day in Berkeley.

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