Staff Stories: Rob Coleman

My name is Rob Coleman, and I am the Bring It Food Hub assistant.  My wife and I love to garden, cook local food, and raise chickens.  I believe that the food you choose to buy and consume impacts the meals you prepare, the economy where it comes from, and your personal health.  That is why I think my employment at the Bring It Food Hub is a perfect fit. It not only pays the bills, but it reflects my personal beliefs and the lifestyle I want to uphold.

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I was hired at the Bring It Food Hub about three months ago, and it has been one of the most enjoyable places I have ever worked!  I get to stay active most of the day handling fruits and veggies; but more importantly, I get to hang out with the farmers who grow our food.  In fact, the other night I was having dinner with my dad and I had provided the desert (homemade peach ice cream), and I was proud to say, “Dad, did you know that I got to shake the hand of the guy who grew these peaches this morning?”.  I think that many of us take our food for granted, and it’s humbling to see the person who was working hard that morning to grow and deliver the food I’m going to eat.

As much as I try, I’m NOT as productive with my garden as I’d like to be; but when I have extra veggies, plants, or eggs, I try to give as much as I can to my friends and family.  That’s another aspect of my life that is very akin to my job.  The Bring It Food Hub has a Pay It Forward Program where people buy a CSA with the sole purpose of donating it to someone in need of fresh food that they wouldn’t be able to buy on their own.

Last Friday, I took some Pay It Forward bags to a food pantry that distributes canned goods and typically doesn’t have fresh fruits and vegetables.  When I pulled up, there was a man who was distressed, underweight, and a diabetic who had recently suffered a heart attack.  I was told that the man was desperate, and specifically asked for fresh produce, and that it must have been fate that I showed up when I did.  It was amazing to see the direct benefit of our donation, and it reminds me that the work we do really helps people in our city.

Members of the Bring It Food Hub and Memphis Tilth who own chickens; myself included, have donated dozens of eggs to pair with the Pay It Forward donations.  Eggs are a great source of nutrition, and I would encourage anyone who raises chickens to help donate any eggs when possible.

I can’t overstate how great it is to have the job I have; to be doing work I believe in, and to make a difference in the city where I live.