Summer CSGC Grant Update: Fostering Relationships within My Community

Since the last update, I completed my volunteer sessions at the beginning of August. In this blog post, I would like to reflect on my time at Second Helpings.

In addition to meeting new members of my community, I’ve acquired better organizational skills, and gained experience as a member of a volunteer group. At the local grocery store or CVS, I’ll often run into people I’ve either worked with or served, whereas before, I would go into town and rarely run into people I know. I feel a stronger tie to Franklin County and the people in it. I have learned how to plan ahead when creating a shopping list for the following week, as well as to manage my time efficiently to pick up and deliver the food to the church. Working with a dedicated team has made me gain an immense amount of respect for volunteers. It takes hard work and planning, and each person has been friendly and patient. It is admirable that the volunteers always return to Second Helpings, especially as the community continues to deal with the impact of the pandemic. I’ve met role models during this experience, and volunteer work will be something I’ll pursue in every community I am a part of from now on.

My goal of joining Anna this summer was to expand my connection to the broader community outside of Old Deerfield. I hadn’t realized how much food insecurity was a part of our region. It has made me more aware of the food waste that we generate at Deerfield.

I want to say a huge thank you again to Anna for asking me to help her out with this project, to the Earl/Mendillo grant, and the CSGC for making this possible!

-Kelly Howe ’22