November 8, 2013
by Hope Pascoe

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 six 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 Hope Pascoe, Child Hunger Corps member at Southeast Missouri Food Bank.

Sikeston, Missouri is the farthest north cotton grows, the home of the throwed rolls, the beginning of southern hospitality, and my new home. Moving to a new place is always a culture shock. You ask for a pop and they say soda. The people can dress differently, think differently, eat catfish spaghetti, and get dirty in their supped-up monster truck on purpose. Diversity exists in everything we do. This is especially true when you are looking to solve a problem.

During training I heard many times that if you have seen one food bank, you have seen one food bank. I think this can be elaborated even further to if you've seen one face of hunger, you've seen one face of hunger. In my first few weeks on the job I went to site visits in schools and communities, attended a mobile pantry, accepted large check donations, and worked in the warehouse pulling orders. Even though the days started to blur together I kept noticing the extreme differences in each person faced with the problems of food insecurity. Hunger has no true face. It comes in all shapes, sizes, ages, and income classes. This can make it one of the hardest problems to solve.

I am looking forward to my next two years here and the possibility of more. I want to use diverse people, places, and ideas to solve this hugely diverse problem.

As I killed my first Brown Recluse Spider yesterday, I thought to myself "Welcome to Missouri, I can't wait to see what it can Show-Me."

Tags: Volunteer , Missouri , Southeast Missouri Food Bank

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