This piece is a reflection from HIP’s current AmeriCorps VISTA member, Emily Billow, on her completing six months of her service at HIP.
September 18th marks half a year into my service, half a year into my HIP journey, and half a year of learning, growing and eating plenty of snacks!
One thing you may not know about HIP is that our office has a very nice snack selection. Each of us adds to this stash of goodness and each one of us eats a fair number of odds and ends found in this glorious shelving unit. Now I am not saying that snacks are what keeps me at HIP but it is one of the things that reminds me why I am here.
When Alex, the past AmeriCorps VISTA, gave me an office tour at the beginning of my term, among other things she also showed me all the places where food is stored and assured me that there would always be enough leftovers! Oddly, this made me feel a lot more comfortable at HIP. Let me tell you why. I grew up in a home that didn’t always have enough food. My mom raised me and two siblings with very little. I never went hungry but there were times that things were very tight. That is one of the reasons why I wanted to work at HIP. It makes me happy knowing that all this food is going out to people who need it in our communities.
Let me get back to the snacks part. HIP does so many amazing things for the community from Senior Community Meals, to gardening, healthy meals for children, and teaching cooking classes. Amidst all the program planning, grant writing, and volunteer coordination there is a core of driven, dedicated, goofy individuals who believe food is a right to everyone. During our weekly staff meetings someone brings a treat, we pass around a bar of chocolate, we munch on a half-eaten bag of tortilla chips, or whatever we can find from our snack assortment. We sit down, ground ourselves, and it reminds me why I am here, to bring my joy and love of food to the people I work with.