It’s time for another volunteer spotlight, and this month we’re featuring prep volunteer Carlos. Carlos has been volunteering in HIP’s kitchen regularly since July 2022, and he came to HIP in search of a way to do tangible work that helps his community.
Carlos understands the profound impacts that hunger can leave on a person. “I don’t like being hungry, and I don’t like the thought of anybody being hungry” he explained. “It’s something that you take for granted, but when you don’t have enough food, you can’t really be aware of anything else.” Carlos also believes that everyone deserves food that doesn’t just fill their stomach, but nourishes them. He noted how nutritious and varied the meals at HIP are, explaining that at HIP, you’re “feeding people the way you’d want to be fed.”
One thing that Carlos likes about his time spent at HIP is that at the end of his shift, he can see the impact of his work. “It’s a satisfying thing to do…It feels good to be able to do something concrete and put food on somebody’s plate.” That being said, Carlos recognizes that the causes of hunger are systemic, and that simply providing direct food support isn’t enough to make long-term change. “It’s a little obscene that anybody is hungry in this country, given how rich this country is,” he explained. “I hate that HIP is necessary…but given that it is necessary, I love that HIP is here.”
One of Carlos’ favorite memories in the HIP kitchen was when he was asked to make biscuits, something he had never done before. “I don’t bake as a rule,” he explained. But they turned out really well, and he was proud to have prepared something that he never would have made on his own.
HIP’s kitchen staff are always excited when they see Carlos’ name on the signup sheet. When not at HIP, Carlos works in software development and spends his limited free time skating, playing games, and learning Norwegian.