More Innovation at the Pantry!

The "Produce Table Leveler," invented by Pete Jeffrey last month, seems to have set off a mini Space Race of innovations.  Here are just two.

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Crate Expectations

Our loyal crates (where pre-packed bags are placed to be picked up by clients) expect -- and deserve -- to be returned to the Pantry after their work is done. From time to time, however, a client would walk off with one. Not the client's fault - an overstuffed bag sometimes just refused to separate cleanly from its temporary home. Personally, I found the spectacle somewhat amusing. But Pattie Thompson, doubling down on being April's spotlighted volunteer, is made of more serious stuff. Using that old inventor standby, the bungee cord, or rather what seems like several hundred of them, the crates are now firmly affixed to sawn-off pallets.  Raised a little higher, the bags are also easier to pick up. Genius!

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Alexander the Grate

Last month we discussed the Perils of the Slope. This month, we must address an even bigger menace - the grate that lurks just outside the Pantry door.  It was plainly on a mission to lay low any volunteers who let their guard down for a second, especially those valiantly carrying a sack of potatoes out to the parking lot. I call it Alexander.  Because, well, no reason particularly.

 

Ken Fantel fixed Alexander's wagon by covering it with some expertly crafted plywood. 

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Ken may have been the blue-sky thinker that put a stop to the grate's mayhem, but a minor drawback was that we had to remember to bring the plywood in after every distribution. The first solution to this problem was to create a reminder, written on some cardboard where the plywood was stored. Which seemed like a reasonable approach to me. Then, seemingly overnight, the perfectly lettered legend you see here appeared on the plywood itself.  The brilliance of this enhancement was immediately obvious to all. But the identity of the scribe was a complete mystery. For weeks, the  Pantry was abuzz with rumor and speculation as one possible "suspect" after another was eliminated.  Only when a five-gallon bucket of pickles appeared - and just as suddenly disappeared - did the chatterati move on to the next inexplicable phenomenon. 

Short story long, I can now reveal our elusive scribe was Wednesday donation-intake volunteer Emily Santella. Thanks Emily! To be clear, Emily had nothing to do with the pickles, as far as we know.

Alexander wept, for there were no more volunteers to conquer.

Plutarch, or possibly not.