This summer, I’m interning at the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The food bank is committed to ending hunger and food insecurity in the city of Fredericksburg and surrounding regions. This is my very first internship, and so far it has been more rewarding than I ever imagined it could be.
I have the opportunity to help with this summer’s “Summer Feeding” program. I’m also in charge of distributing “food preference” surveys which allow people to share their food preferences based on ethnic or cultural preferences. These past couple of months at the food bank have been eye-opening, educational, and rewarding. I have been able to apply my sociological skills and knowledge through conducting surveys and working directly with individuals. But actually seeing the sheer number of people that face food insecurity in the Fredericksburg area first hand has had the biggest impact on me.
The food bank has an “order ahead” program, which is similar to a curbside grocery pick up that you’d see at a local Target or Walmart. The order ahead option allows for a fast and private way for families to receive food assistance. I have the rewarding task of greeting people as they pull into “order ahead” parking spots and asking them about their day. I love people and I especially love hearing people’s stories, so this has been very special to me. I ask everyone who pulls into a spot if they’d fill out the survey and explain it to them. The last part of the survey says “is there anything else you would like to share with us?” I always get a variety of responses, but a lot of the people have given me words of encouragement and have expressed their gratitude toward myself and the organization. A few of the heartwarming responses include “Believe in yourself and don’t forget to believe in others” and “Love you guys.”
The Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank has already prepared me to succeed outside of the classroom and make me a better individual. I’m excited to see how my time at the food bank continues into July and August!