Peter Griggs - A day in the life of a Willing Hands driver
But don't be alarmed if you see him driving other trucks as well
Good morning Norwich, Upper Valley and beyond,
This story is “a day in the life of a Willing Hands driver” The driver for this story is Peter Griggs who many of you know from the Norwich Fire department and from around town and even may have seen him on some of Norwich’s trails. He is quite the worker who excels in what he does. I asked Peter if he would tell us a little about his day and so I met him at one of his stops to see first hand what he does for Willing Hands. The pictures below are from one of his stops at King Arthur Flour and of the end of his day at the warehouse as he was unloading his daily catch if you will. There is a lot more to it though( in between those times) but I will let Peter tell you that himself.
I thought I would share a paragraph from the Willing hands website as it relates directly to Peter’s testimonial of his day at Willing hands.
Willing Hands recovers fresh food from farms, grocery stores, restaurants and wholesalers, and delivers it year-round, for free, to 80 social service organizations across the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Our work is made possible by a strong and wide network of volunteers, food donors, and recipient organizations. Together, we serve 30,000 individuals annually with 4 million servings while mitigating nearly 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Here is the link https://willinghands.org/ for more info.
And now for the main event- A day in Peter’s life as a driver for Willing Hands.
Here is Peter’s story:
Willing Hands has a few regular route drivers, delivering and picking up produce on each of the daily routes and I am the Tuesday driver. Before any of us go off for the day’s activities, the food is organized for us at the Willing Hands warehouse at 198 Church Street in Norwich, by Scott Trombley, our warehouse manager.
We begin the day by loading the truck with hundreds of pounds of food, from bread to bananas, peppers, milk, cheese, eggs, pears, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, ...you get the idea. Then I head off to the first of many stops for the day at The Upper Valley Haven where it is pretty standard to deliver 200-300 pounds of food, as they are one of our larger social service agencies.
We deliver to over 80 different locations, such as The Listen Center, Upper Valley Senior Center, Thetford Food Shelf, Claremont Soup Kitchen, etc., all over the Upper Valley, and we also pick up produce, bread, milk, cheese, eggs, etc. to redistribute from many different locations, including all of the Coop Food Stores, Upper Valley Produce, King Arthur Flour, McNamara Dairy, Spring Brook Farm, Pete and Gerry’s, etc.
There are many, many very generous businesses with whom we work closely to make sure quality food gets out to those who need it. After a couple of stops to pick up more donated food from area businesses it is time to head out on the main route up I-91 to the Thetford Food Shelf, then to the West Fairlee Food Shelf, over to Fairlee, Orford, and Lyme where each town has a group that we deliver various amounts of food to, depending on what we have and what they need.
It could be that on any given day we deliver 50 pounds of various fruits and vegetables to one food shelf and the next may be the recipients of 150 pounds of food. At each of these stops I pop out of the truck, open up the back and organize what we will deliver at that particular stop, based on what is on the truck.
Some days we have more cheese than we know what to do with, other days we are the fortunate bearers of large amounts of tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots; we never know until we see it. The day goes on with drop-offs and pick-ups throughout the day, finishing with a couple of healthy loads dropped at The Listen Center and The Upper Valley Senior Center in Lebanon before final pick-ups at The Coop food stores in Hanover, Lebanon, and White River.
Once the route is finished we finish up the full day by getting back to the warehouse and unloading whatever food may be left on the truck onto a pallet that is put into the large cooler. It will be part of what gets loaded up for delivery by tomorrow’s driver, along with fresh new food from the cooler as well.
I am only one of a few Willing Hands drivers so you may or may not see me driving around in a Willing Hands truck. You may also spot me driving some other trucks around town once in awhile as I am also a Fire Engine driver and Captain for the Norwich Fire Department. That is another story...Be safe out there!
This is just one of the other trucks you may see Peter driving and it could be at a moment’s notice as a Captain for the Norwich fire department.
Always ready to roll if needed.
And he sure looks like he is proud to be a firefighter as well
But for this story It all starts here
Garage bays for vehicles
Looks like it will be delivery and pickups with an ISUZU truck
And there is Peter making a collection at the King Arthur Flour building
Heading inside to collect the goodies
Loading up the dolly
And getting ready to reposition it all in the truck
And now we are back at the Willing Hands food storage area after Peter’s day long journey
Produce is unloaded onto a pallet
And brought into the walk-in-coolers
And the rest of the story is in the detailed description of Peter’s day
Thanks for reading my newsletter about Norwich.
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