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Today I was finally able to give something back after having received so much along this journey.

A long hike on a hot day brought me to Bainbridge. I’d planned to stay at the Hirn House, a local B&B; but it no longer is a B&B—the owner’s son returned from college, so she can no longer rent out his room!

However, she called the local Methodist church and the preacher gave his okay for me to pitch my tent in the backyard of the Paint Valley Ministries Food Pantry, which is across the street from the church itself.

As I started to set up the tent in the backyard, Merri, the woman in charge of the Food Pantry’s food bank distribution, arrived. She said it was okay to stay overnight inside if I wanted to. Sure! I put all my stuff in a back storage room.

As people were starting to line up to receive a box of groceries and packaged goods, and I asked Merri if I could help. Without hesitation she put me to work assembling dozens of boxes containing cereal, pasta, juice, spaghetti sauce, and an assortment of canned and packaged goods. At the same time, Merri, Lana, and Michelle were adding fresh food, produce and bakery items.

Although I’ve donated to the Alameda County Community Food Bank for many years as part of Temple Sinai’s annual campaign, I can’t tell you what an honor and privilege it is to actually be on the front line helping to distribute the food. It was their gift to me.

20 miles today.

@ Bainbridge, Ohio

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