It’s AmeriCorps Week! HIP currently hosts three AmeriCorps volunteers through Washington Service Corps who provide direct support to our programs. Liza is HIP’s Healthy HIP Packs Coordinator. As a program coordinator, her role includes ordering the food, coordinating with participating schools, and working with volunteers to build HIP Packs. Jessica is HIP’s Senior Meal Assistant. She supports both the Lake City and the East African Senior Meal programs with preparation and serving. These two also lead nutrition education and food justice classes for youths, and will be helping to lead HIP’s Summer Eats program this summer. Our third AmeriCorps member, Jayme, provides back-end support across our program and development teams. We’re grateful to these individuals for choosing to serve at HIP.
To celebrate this week, we asked Liza and Jessica to reflect on their experience with the program so far.
Q. How did you find out about AmeriCorps, and what inspired you to serve?
Liza: “I first learned about AmeriCorps in high school, but I never considered it as an option until my brother served a year with AmeriCorps NCCC. After I graduated college, AmeriCorps was clearly the next best step for me. It gave me the opportunity to travel to new places and work with organizations that truly care about making a difference in our communities.”
Jessica: “I heard about AmeriCorps through one of HIP’s staff members. What inspired me to serve was knowing I can get more involved with my community and knowing I can continue my food experience by serving seniors.”
Q. What is one of your favorite things about your job?
Liza: “One of my favorite things about my job is working with volunteers each week. Due to the nature of the program, I get to work with volunteers of all ages, and it’s always inspiring to see the enthusiasm and determination that our volunteers put into every stage of building a HIP Pack. Whether it’s the repackaging crew labeling and filling single serving bags of food every week, the groups and families that build 400+ packs at our packing parties, or the final assembly volunteers that finish each pack with fresh fruit before sealing them and prepping them to be sent out each week. It continues to be an honor to meet and work with our volunteers, as I know the program would not be possible without them!”
Jessica: “One of my favorite things about my job is seeing the happiness in the seniors we serve and connecting with them.”
Q. Finish the sentence: “Serving at HIP is…”
Liza: “Serving at HIP is eye-opening! It is encouraging to see so many people eager to help in the fight against food insecurity.”
Jessica: “Serving at HIP is one of the greatest feelings for me as I continue my journey.”