“Ray’s here!” echoes through the dining hall. The men working in the kitchen stop what they’re doing just like in the movie Young Guns when Dick yells to his crew, “Regulators mount up!” The guys quickly walk to the garage. This is a welcome break in the morning routine of cleaning up after a glorious breakfast service at Blanchet House.
An old beat up pickup truck, with 55 gallon steel drums, sits curbside waiting to receive a heavy load. “All right boys, let’s get sloppy!”
“Good morning Ray!” Says a jolly Blanchet resident heading to the truck. “Okay new guy, get ready to move those bags of food waste into the drums on the truck.”
Back in the garage, two residents start loading slop filled trash cans onto flatbed carts. Each can weighs anywhere from 50 to 100 lbs.
“It’s food for pigs. For 10 years Ray Lawson has come to collect approximately 1200 lbs. of food waste from our kitchen every week. He feeds it to the pigs on his farm in Carlton. Ray helps us minimize our waste. His pigs go hog wild for our slop! We also send slop to the pigs at Blanchet Farm.”
“Come on, get in there!” says a resident egging on the new guy. “Oh hush up, quit your hollering.” The new guy retorts. The bantering brings a roar of laughter. It’s a lively group of guys this morning.
“This is hands down the most physically demanding and stinky job at Blanchet House. I’ve seen guys leave here because they couldn’t stomach loading slop.
Farmer Lynn Trupp comes to pick up expired unprepared food that can’t be served to the public. Trupp owns Crescent Lake Farms on Sauvie Island. 90% of the food goes to animals and manure spread for the fields.
The residents quickly load the slop on Lawson’s truck. “That’s a wrap, good job boys!” compliments the shift supervisor. The men wash up, grab a hot cup of coffee and prepare to finish cleaning the kitchen.
“Lynn’s here!” rings through the dining hall. The men ready themselves for another load of food waste.
Jason is a resident of Blanchet House. He feels honored to be able to give back to the community by serving in the kitchen.