Fighting Poverty with Passion
I am now entering the third month of my assignment at the Broadmoor Improvement Association and fully invested intoseveral projects. One of the most prominent projects I am invested in is the Broadmoor Food Pantry. The Pantry functions as an emergency pantry which means we provide clients that are food insecure with groceries that will last 1-3 days depending on the food available at the pantry. At the moment we are attempting to incorporate “choice” into the way we distribute food. By incorporating choice we hope to give clients more options and a sense of agency when they attend the pantry. The Broadmoor Food pantry is experimenting with the idea of choice but has no experience distributing food in this way. So, I was able to go on a field trip to Chalmette and observe food distribution at the St. Bernard Community Center pantry. At this pantry, clients arrange an appointment and then shop according to their family size. Once shopping in complete, the items are scanned via the bar code at check out. The trip was very helpful and though the BFP has limited storage and space in general I hope that we can implement certain aspects of the choice system
Another fun field trip I got to take this month was to the Second Harvest Food Bank office in Harahan. During the trip, Lauren Robinson, Volunteer Services Coordinator, gave me a tour of the facility and some good advice about volunteerism and volunteer appreciation. She also gave me some of the guidelines that are implemented at the SHFB. Not only did this field trip give me an opportunity to see where all the magic happens but it also gave me more insight into serving those that serve your organization. The tour was very helpful for me because I am creating a volunteer protocol, policy, and box packing guideline for current and future volunteers. After observing some conflict between a couple of volunteers at our pantry, I realized that it would be useful to have objective guidelines and a policy that would help us avoid conflict and foster a pleasant environment.
This month also taught me that it is important for affiliates of an organization to not just create a common language about the organization’s mission, vision, and goals but also make this language unique to one’s own experience. Everyone in an organization has a different story to tell. So, as a contributing member to the work culture of an organization know your story, role, and how it all ties back into the overall vision of the organization.
P.S. The Broadmoor Food Pantry is has a fundraiser on GoFundMe! You can help many families in Broadmoor this Thanksgiving season by following this link: https://www.gofundme.com/BFP_TG