Hands-on Help at Convening Leaders 2020

Author: Casey Gale       

hospitality helping hands

Volunteers help sort and package food to be distributed to those in need during Sunday’s Hospitality Helping Hands. (Jacob Slaton Photography)

More than 140,000 San Francisco and Marin County residents rely on meals from the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank every week — which means the food bank, in turn, relies on donations and volunteers to help serve the community. On Sunday, more than 150 Hospitality Helping Hands (HHH) volunteers, suppliers and planners alike, rose bright and early to help sort and package food to be distributed to those in need.

The annual community service event, sponsored by Experient, GES, and Marriott International, allows Convening Leaders attendees to give back to the host city in a meaningful way. San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, which has been in operation since 1987, provides 48 million pounds of food to people in need each year through food pantries and the organization’s home-delivery service, which brings fresh, healthy food to thousands of local residents who are elderly or have disabilities.

“We’re just so excited to have PCMA and their volunteers come through the warehouse,” said Janine Hurty, corporate development manager for San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “More than 150 people volunteering is going to make a huge impact in the community. We’re going to see tens of thousands of pounds of food that’s going to go out …. We can’t be more grateful for what PCMA is doing and for their vision in terms of bringing volunteerism into their conference and really promoting that within their events.”

Veteran and first-time HHH volunteers were split into three groups: One group helped prepare home-delivered groceries; the next group helped sort donations; and the third group packaged mounds upon mounds of penne pasta into small, one-pound bags for easy distribution.

“I volunteered a lot throughout my high-school [years] and even in my career,” said Brock Bradley, national sales manager for the Washington State Convention Center and first-time HHH volunteer. “It’s always really rewarding, so it’s really a win-win. It’s benefiting a group of people who need help, and getting a really good feeling of getting outside of myself — not focusing just on me and my family and my things. It really puts things in perspective and makes you feel gratitude.”

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