A note from Ty, our Summer Meals outreach and activities coordinator extraordinaire!
It is the middle of June and Summer Eats is only a week away. Planning the activities and securing all of the volunteers has been a mingle of creativity, some long hours, and of course sheer luck! So far I have given you a few sneak peaks into this summer and its highlighted activities such as carnival days, superhero visits, and our Mini- Chef cooking program. You can see our full summer calendar of events here. But, through planning this program I found myself constantly questioning if I am going slightly overboard with my expectations to make this the best summer I possibly can.
Summer Eats is an outstanding meal program with it’s core mission to provide food for children who do not have food access during this no-school period. Increasing food security is HIP’s goal and all of my co-workers are excellently tackling this by hosting Cooking Matters classes, throwing delicious Senior Meals and so on. It’s a riot to see everyone’s computer screens during the day filled with grants, emails, new menus, while mine was on Pinterest, family magazines, Facebook and posting on Instagram.
My project seems on the lighthearted end of hunger and sometimes not even connected. But, it wasn’t until the mighty Srijan and Darcy made a clear point about the program, that I realized how important providing these activities were. It isn’t just about how much fun we can have this summer, it is about providing opportunities and creative stimulation that kids might not be able to access without money. Attending carnivals, cooking sushi, decorating layers of cake, meeting Wonder Woman, learning the basics of art and photography — every kid should have a summer of giddy fun, and most importantly, an outlet they can use to express and discover life. Once I gained this new perspective I realized that I am in no way going overboard! I am down right determined to bring as many new and fresh activities that I can to the table. With only a week away, I finally get to see Summer Eats planning and organizing come to life, and I cannot wait to share it with you!