A Sense of Community
I have had the great pleasure of spending the past three weeks interning at the Church and Community Program. This non-profit organization is comprised of a food pantry that feeds families throughout the towns of Canton, Clare, Hermon, DeKalb, and Russell, and a thrift shop. I have spent the past three weeks getting to know how the thrift shop and food pantry work, and been able to work alongside volunteers to assist in both settings. I have mainly worked in the food pantry, checking in families and leading them through collecting food in the pantry. This has been a great way to meet members of the North Country community and learn more about people in the area.
In addition to assisting with the pantry, I have researched nutrition facts on fruits and vegetables, to post in the pantry to encourage healthy eating habits. I also found simple cooking recipes involving vegetables that pantry-goers can try and enjoy, while still making healthy choices. The pantry is focused on feeding community members who are food insecure but is also interested in promoting nutrition. This research will assist me in my summer project beginning in July, where I will work as a representative from Church and Community Program and offer free fruits and vegetables to senior citizens. This new program will promote healthy eating while also encouraging eligible senior citizens to sign up for the food pantry. Through assisting in developing this program I have learned more about the local farmers markets and the food assistance programs used at the farmers markets such as EBT cards and GardenShare’s Bonus Bucks.
While I have only been interning at Church and Community program for three weeks, I already feel as though I have learned a significant amount about the North Country. By spending time at the food pantry, I have developed more of an understanding of the difficulties faced by many residents of St. Lawrence County. I have also learned more about the positive sense of community that exists in this county.
Overall, I have been having a great experience at the Church and Community Program. I love working with an organization that is comprised of people who are truly dedicated to helping others. They immediately made me feel welcome and have been nothing but kind to me and every other person who goes into the food pantry. I look forward to doing more work for Church and Community Program, beginning my project, and learning more about the North Country!