Monday, November 24, 2008

Reflections on our first expedition

In our previous post, we noted that we were somewhat disappointed by the results of our first trip into the city. Upon a bit of reflection, though, it became obvious that there was no reason for disappointment: three hungry people were fed. Our own expectations are irrelevant - unless we do this only for vanity's sake.

So there is no cause for disappointment, only lessons to be learned:

First, we must have a guide, as we had originally intended. Randomly picking a spot on the side of the road doesn't work. We must have a specific location that has been chosen to maximize our exposure to homeless and hungry people. Ideally, we would set up across the street from a drug house (in reality, we would probably position ourselves some distance away for safety). This should put us directly in the path of many of the homeless whom we seek.

Second, we must have a banner or sign of some sort to tell people what we are doing. We probably look a little out of place to begin with - even without a big pot and a box full of bread - and that cannot help our mission. A banner that says, "FREE SOUP" and is hung on the side of our vehicle should work.

Finally, we must cut back the quantity of food that we produce until we have an established base of recipients. At this point, we have no idea how many people we might be able to feed under ideal circumstances - only further experience will help us determine this. So we must be careful with our resources and prepare smaller quantities of soup until we have a specific need for more. Rice-based soup in particular doesn't store well (the rice slowly turns into mush), so we must be careful not to make too much.

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