We weren't told on the itinerary of the field trip beforehand. Prof Mohan gave us more detail on it en route to Willing Hearts. Upon hearing a more in-depth summary of the day's activities, quite honestly my initial thoughts were this "I didn't take time off work to do some community service. Since when did I volunteer my services? Just what can I learn from this field trip? Seriously?"
My skepticism was of course proven wrong, but I will touch more on that later.
Upon reaching the site, we first helped in loading many food packets into the delivery van. There was an NUS alumni there to facilitate the planning and logistics. We somehow managed to cram all the food packets into the van. After that, we were brought up to Willing Heart's Soup Kitchen.
I was quite stunned that they were actually quite organised there. The space was allocated accordingly to facilitate the kitchen operations. Right at the entrance, there was a packing station whereby volunteers would facilitate the packing of ration packets into large plastic bags for delivery.
The rest of the kitchen space was allocated to maximise efficiency of the kitchen operations. There was a food preparation station, whereby many volunteers were sorting out the good and spoilt vegetables. There was also a food washing-cum-thawing station, where the sorted vegetables were washed, and frozen meat and produce from storage were thawed.
The other areas of the kitchen were basically used to cook the food and to pack them.
We were given the opportunity to talk to one of the more regular middle-aged volunteers there. We were given more insights on how Willing Heart works. Apparently we were lucky to come on a good day as many CJC students had volunteered their services for a greater cause.
Following that, we made our deliver trip. The van was simply overcrowded. We had so many packets of food loaded, and in addition we had so many passengers. It was a very uncomfortable ride there.
We made a total of 4 deliveries to 4 different locations. We were given time to interact personally with those living with hunger every day. My narrow lens were widened when I witness hunger first-hand. "How could such a prominent issue be so neatly tucked away from the eyes of the public at the convenience of the government?" "Shouldn't the government play a more active role in alleviating the issue?" These were some of my thoughts then.
In summary, I was heartened to be given the opportunity to go on this field trip. It was really very heart-warming for the elderly to thank us personally with such grateful hearts and with beaming smiles on their aged faces.
Everyone can make a difference.