Most of our volunteers come to us. They come to our kitchen space for meal prep, our common space for our Packing Parties, and our host sites for our cooking/nutrition classes. However, once in a while, we get a few volunteers that go above and beyond, and take our mission into their own homes.
Shannon Gottesman approached HIP with one of our favorite family projects to date: she and her kids wanted to collaborate with us to assemble HIP Packs at home. They met with us to learn about our backpack meal program and the food model to follow. Then, they bought the food items, assembled the packs at home, and delivered the nearly complete packs to us! All that was left was to add fresh fruit and our Healthy HIP Pack Post (educational newsletter). The Gottesman family dropped off almost 30 HIP Packs, which helps us increase our capacity by that much more!
Here’s what Shannon had to say upon reflecting on this project:
Our family has volunteered to help reduce food insecurity for several years. My kids (ages 16, 14 & 12) all wanted to find a project that directly impacted children struggling with food insecurity. We were lucky to find the Hunger Intervention Program. The kids embraced all aspects of making the food packs. They spent hours planning their food shopping, strategizing the best packing techniques and worked together to put together packs. As a parent, I was amazed to see how they reflected on each step of the project. For example, my 12 year old wanted to put two breakfast choices in the packs in case the kids didn’t like Raisin Bran, the cereal we packed. My 16 year old noted that one can of soup for dinner for two nights might still leave the kids unsatiated. Undertaking all aspects of this project in such a hands-on way allowed my kids to connect and empathize in a deep and real way with the kids who were receiving the packs and may struggle each day with food insecurity.
– Shannon Gottesman
The Gottesmans plan to engage in this service every month, and we can’t think of a more awesome project to take on as a family!