One of our practice goals for 2018 for the Salesforce team was to donate/volunteer our time to the communities in which we live.  We are attempting to follow Salesforce’s 1-1-1 initiative as much as possible.  The size of our company and team doesn’t give us much ability to hit the 1% of our time goal but we are attempting to get as close as possible with quarterly volunteering opportunities.  Our team partnered with Second Helpings (a local non-profit).

What is Second Helpings?

Second Helpings mission is “Transforming lives through the power of food”.  They have two sides to their organization – 1) Chef training for the unemployed and underemployed and 2) Meal preparation for many other local non-profits.  Second HelpingsSecond Helpings take in food from various local donation sources including grocery stores and restaurants.  The chefs-in-training then prepare menus based on the availability and in some cases unavailability of certain items.  Also, the chefs receive education in other life skills such as mortgages, checking accounts, and credit.  So, they leave with a well-rounded set of both work and life skills.  As an example of the “unavailability” our volunteer liaison told us about the time that they made pasta sauce with Bloody Mary mix when no tomato sauce was available.  So, to say that they are a resource bunch is an understatement.

Additionally, the depth and breadth of their ability to track throughput of donations in and meals out is a testament to ingenuity and logistical prowess.  The amount of food that is considered “waste” (which is composted) was less than 10% of their intake.  That’s an awesome percentage given the amount of food that they receive and then distribute as meals or re-donate to local food banks.

So, what did the CleanSlate team do?

Well, initially, they let us sample their food!  The chefs-in-training take great pride in their work and you can definitely see and taste it.  Typically, the chefs prepare food in buffet style.  However, when we visited they had prepared a huge menu of options including appetizers, salads, and sandwiches.  Our team ordered a few appetizers (fried green beans, onion rings, and cheese sticks) as well as a few entrées including barbecue chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, and salads.  The food was very good!  They included dessert options but our team was ready to get to work.Trimming Those B-Sprouts

The regular volunteer staff gave us an introductory tour and instructions on when to wash hands and to re-glove our hands.  We then set off on peeling and cutting onions as well as peeling and cutting brussel sprouts.  This may not sound glamorous as a volunteering activity but it was actually pretty fun when you have 6 other friends with you.  The onions did make most of us cry a time or two…but I digress.  The chefs made us cookies as a “thank you” (I’d like one of those right now, actually).  And, at the end of our shift we swept, mopped, cleaned our knives, and prepared the kitchen for the next day.

All-in-all, the team had a good day and we hope that we were able to provide some value to their chefs’ cooking.  I think we’re going to like working with Second Helpings and are hoping that we can also donate some time to help them with their Salesforce org.

If you would like to see our other company-wide volunteer activities you can check-out this link.

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