A big thank you to Jeff Stock, Alicia Hintzen and Cynthia Leimbach from University Village and Avantika Sood, Michael Berl, Mickey Katz, Megan Pulver and Michael Teklezghi from Uber.
This morning, Spoon University at Berkeley members rolled out of our beds around 6 am, pulled on our Spoon shirts and trekked to the bus station on Telegraph Ave. and Dwight Way. There, we met up with an Uber student representative for Cal and boarded the 1 bus, bound for Whole Foods.
Because Whole Foods had not yet opened, we manually pulled open the doors and wove around employees who were setting up for the day. In the produce section, we found a cart heaped high with food–avocados, grapefruits, tubs of guacamole and salsa, bananas, berries, tomatoes and cartons of juice. Whole Foods donates several boxes of food each week to University Village (UC Village), a popular housing option for Cal student-parents and their families that’s located in Albany. The student-parents there often have trouble making the trip to pick up the donated food, though, because collection time is 7:30 am, the same time they are getting their kids ready for school.
Excited to have found the boxes of food, we grabbed ahold of the cart and pushed it through the store to the parking lot outside, and then we called an Uber. Within minutes, a shiny, black SUV rolled up, and we began packing the boxes into the trunk. Halfway through loading up, we realized that a few of the boxes were leaking! The tomatoes had gotten buried under the tubs of guacamole and salsa, so we repacked and rearranged. The driver, Michael, wearing a pink button-down and a big smile, kindly helped us with the particularly heavy boxes.
We hopped into the car and headed to University Village with the radio murmuring ’90s hits all the way there. At the Village, we pulled up outside the apartment designated for drop off and unloaded all the food onto the sidewalk. Michael headed off with one last smile. We carried the boxes of food around the building and stacked them on the patio.
The resident of the apartment came outside to talk to us about how she would later distribute the food to the student-parents of the Village. She said that she usually sorts through each box and then puts a message on Facebook, notifying the student-parents that the donated food is available for pick up.
Her son, barefooted and wearing a plushy diaper, stood near her as she explained, staring in awe at all the boxes of food. We don’t blame him! It all looked delicious!