16.2.11

Putting Food on the Sidewalk with the Sisters' Camelot

I have a new piece up over at Twin Cities' Runoff, a great new online magazine, about the Sisters' Camelot. They're a wonderful nonprofit that picks up free food and delivers it to street corners in poor neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities. Its a magic thing to see and be a part of, as the look of joy on people's faces as they come across this colorful mountain of free vegetables put out on the sidewalk is hard to top.

Here's a taste of the sidewalk scene:
Today the bus heads for one of the most reliable drop-off spots: the corner by the bus stop at Nicollet and Lake, across the street from the Kmart. Eric pulls the harlequin bus up to the wide sidewalk and almost instantly people start gathering round. Volunteers unload half the food onto the street, putting out a wooden sandwich board sign that reads “Free Organic Food” in English, Spanish, and Somali. The folks along Nicollet seem to be speaking a dozen languages as they wait patiently for volunteers to stack food along the street.

For the next two hours, the stream of people wandering past the corner are treated to armloads of free food, as much as each individual can carry. The tomatoes and grapes are the most popular. Smiles appear on faces almost without fail, and the whole scene feels like Christmas or a birthday party.

Check it out! I'm putting up a few more photos from my trip with them. (And thanks to Emily, Deborah, Valentine, Adria, Jerry, Heidi, Vinay, and Rob for all their help with the piece.)






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