The Child Hunger Corps is a national service program designed to increase the capacity and capability of food banks to execute programs targeted towards the alleviation of child hunger. The objective of the program is to increase the number of nutritious snacks and meals served to children in need in local communities across the country. The Child Hunger Corps initiative is sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.
In August 2013, the fourth cohort of 6 new Corps members were placed at Feeding America member food banks, bringing the current total to 15 Child Hunger Corps members working at food banks across the country. This post is by fourth cohort member Mya Price, Child Hunger Corps member at God's Pantry Food Bank.
As I conclude my first month at God's Pantry Food Bank, I know that my two-year journey on the road to finding ways to alleviate child hunger has just begun. Before my role as a Child Hunger Corps Member at God's Pantry Food Bank, I didn't realize how food insecurity affected so many people in Kentucky and even in my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.
As a Lexingtonian native, I thought I had a grasp on the problems that affected my community. Of the fifty counties God's Pantry Food Bank services, Fayette County is the largest and is also where God's Pantry Food Bank is located, but this doesn't mean that there aren't child hunger solutions that need to be built.
I've noticed that my time at God's Pantry Food Bank has flown by. I've been able to meet and greet with the staff at God's Pantry Food Bank, local officials in the community, and also community member volunteers. In addition to this, I've been able to establish connections with coordinators at our Kids Cafe and Backpack programs.
Currently, God's Pantry Food Bank has six Kids Cafe sites and is sponsoring fourteen Backpack programs throughout the Lexington community, of which are all dispersed throughout the area. I thought I could use my "own" sense of direction to get me to each location, but realized I'm having to rely heavily on my GPS which has surprised me; I thought I'd been all over this town. I quickly realized there is still a lot more I have to learn about my own community.
While Lexington is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conducting my overall community needs assessment, it's been nice to observe how passionate, dedicated, and active the community is in the fight against hunger. When I'm asked what my role is at God's Pantry Food Bank, I emphasize to them how I enjoy, "representing my own hometown and my state." In addition to this, I always add that, "my goal is to help find solutions and to take steps toward alleviating child hunger."
When talking to volunteers I've noticed a majority of them have served as volunteers for God's Pantry Food Bank for many years. As I continue my journey beyond Lexington to the eastern Kentucky counties, I know I will be just as fortunate to interact with communities that are just as passionate and dedicated. I feel I've been successful thus far by finding people just as passionate as I am about alleviating child hunger and I think together we can help seek solutions. In other words, it's great to be home!Tags: Volunteer , Kentucky , God's Pantry Food Bank, Inc.