Surprising Variety

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Fall is in the air and our summer students have by now started their classes and gotten settled into their new routines.  Today I would like to share a retrospective post that Jessica drafted about her time here at the House of Friendship Emergency Food Hamper Program.

What were your first impressions and expectations?

One of my first impressions walking into the Emergency Food Hamper Program was that the staff and volunteers were so friendly and everyone was very welcoming. All the staff and volunteers seemed to really enjoy being there which was great to see, since that isn’t always the case in a work environment. On my first day the Monday order was just arriving and was introduced to sorting and putting away items. Although I was a little lost on how things worked everyone was so helpful and patient with me. Staff and Volunteers worked seamlessly to put the order away as a well-functioning team. The volunteers, like the staff, were extremely knowledgeable about what needed to be done. An organization such as this relies heavily on great volunteers and we’re lucky to have so many of those. After the first morning at the Emergency Food Hamper Program I knew I was going to have a great summer working here.

What surprised you?

I think one area that was a bit surprising was all the variety of situations and life circumstances that have led to our patrons using our services. Some factors such as mental/physical health, personal/family loss, and/or mobility concerns etc., all being issues that an individual would have no control over. A person’s situation can so easily and so swiftly change for the worse that any one of us at some point could be using community services such as the Emergency Food Hamper Program. I’ve heard from a large amount of our patrons that they never expected to be using a food bank service and are quite sad that their circumstances have taken an unexpected turn.

What is one thing you will take with you?

One thing I will take with me will be the great memories I’ve had here working with staff, volunteers and patrons of our program. I will also take the knowledge I have learned about food insecurity and income assistance programs and use these in my future work with social services.

What would you like to have done more?

The only thing I can think of that I wish I could have done more would be work here longer. Having a list of horror story summer jobs this summer position has honestly been one of the best jobs I have ever had. I will greatly miss coming here every day but will definitely be back to volunteer as much as possible.

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