Fighting Poverty with Passion
During the month of May, my organization initiated the planning and preliminary data gathering process for our five year strategic plan for the BIA. So, I’ve been assisting in gathering data for areas pertaining to my job specifically (i.e food pantry, food insecurity, etc). It’s great to be apart of the strategic sessions for my site and contribute to the overall planning.
In addition to the strategic sessions, I have invested a good amount of time this month into training two community volunteers that have now committed to the role of Food Coordinator at the Broadmoor Food Pantry. The transition is going over smoothly and the volunteers appear to be very excited about their new roles at the pantry. It is a satisfying feeling to know that community members are more heavily involved in managing the daily and behind the scene operations of the pantry.
Over the course of my term, I created protocols, guidelines, and implemented certain systems in order for the food pantry daily operations to run more efficiently. The educational material I leave behind of course is amendable and I look forward to seeing how the document improves over the years. Further, the Master’s of Social Work interns will still be an integral part of the pantry and case management aspects of the food pantry.
This month, I also got the opportunity to coordinate a service project with the wonderful kids over at NOLA Microschools. NOLA Microschools was created with the common belief that there is a need for more schools in New Orleans, whose drive to excellence is powered by the unique passions, talents, struggles and curiosities of its student body.
The students of NOLA Microschools ages range from 7-11 years old and is taught in a montessori format. In the week leading up to the service project, the children led a food drive and raised over 200 pounds of food. On the day of service, the kids started things off by viewing a video on food insecurity called “A Place at the Table” followed by a discussion led by my supervisor Anamaria Villamarin-Lupin. The children also sorted their donations and assisted in organizing the pantry. At the end of the service day, a vast majority of the students reported that overall experience was great. I enjoyed having them in the pantry and seeing them take action around things they learned about inequality to food access.