We bid a reluctant farewell to our incredible Summer Interns and Volunteers

Omayra joined us for the summer from Delaware Valley University as our Nutrition Education Outreach team intern. She shares her experience in her own words…

“Sharing a passion for healthy eating goes much further than simply getting the word out. This summer I was fortunate enough to learn and teach about the vast choices we have when it comes to feeding our body good things. During my internship, I came to a realization that my title as a “nutrition intern” was much more meaningful, and powerful than I could have ever imagined. Although I continued learning about the benefits of different kinds of fruits and vegetables, and giving tips on healthy cooking, I felt as though my task was to help address food insecurities in the communities nearby and do something about it. Even if it was just from a nutritional aspect. Rolling Harvest gave me the opportunity to do that.

Gleaning with Rolling Harvest and the admirable group of volunteers is refreshing. Being able to collect fresh produce and know that it will reach food-insecure communities creates a feeling of satisfaction for many reasons. For one, here we are on a hot summer day working together toward a common goal. Being out on the field is not about how much you may or may not know about what is being gleaned, but about how much you care. When we join forces, we succeed as a community. I never realized how important this particular process, of gleaning, really was. It is essentially the first step in helping put food on the table, and it is truly an eye-opening experience.

I had never had so much fun in a kitchen until I started preparing for distributions with Edie, or assisted in teaching a cooking demo at Home Front! I didn’t think I was too shabby until I experienced lots of technical difficulties with a blender while making smoothies with the young campers. Or coming close to slicing my fingers off, yes plural, on a mandolin while working with cucumbers. Edie is a trooper for putting up with my mini panic-attacks caused by the concerning thoughts that I kept messing up a simple salad dressing recipe. Also for not getting upset over the roasted beet juice I would accidentally spill on her floor, although I always attempted to quickly clean it up before she noticed! She has a kind, generous, hard-working, optimistic soul and I am grateful that our paths were able to cross.
Nonetheless, being able to make your own meal, and knowing exactly what goes in it, and in our case where it came from, is comforting. What is even better is that we get to share this with the individuals, and families that we encounter. Edie and I would recreate recipes incorporating the fresh produce we were going to distribute in order to encourage people to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and prepare a healthy meal for themselves, or their families back at home. These events were great, I was able to share and connect with different kinds of people. One of the most memorable comments I received in regards to the sampling was “This is great; I love vegetables, but I just never really know what to do with them. Now I do” Knowing that we were able to help or inspire someone, even in the smallest form, goes a long way.

Overall my time at Rolling Harvest will be one of my most memorable summers. I felt as though I became a part of a family. I witnessed the beauty of teamwork, and the many ways of lending a hand. Most importantly that there IS a solution to a problem, all it takes is effort, an open-mind and an open-heart. From working with young campers, young adults, the elderly, and different types of demographics, I have realized what humanity is all about. Hunger is something relatable, and sometimes we fail to acknowledge that we live by people who don’t have access to food the way we do. At the end of the day we must help each other out without expecting anything in return. Humanity can be seen as “connecting local farmers with neighbors in need”. The Rolling Harvest Food Rescue serves a wonderful purpose and I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to have had worked with such dedicated, engaged, inspirational, uplifting, and well-rounded people who were able to expand my knowledge and raise my awareness on hunger-relief.”

And we already miss Emma…

Emma joined us for the summer break from Lehigh University as an all-around intern, helping with logistics, gleaning, distributions, IT and so much more. She brought just the right combination of enthusiasm and flexibility that working with a gleaning organization requires!

Thanks a bushel to all of the students and teachers who keep us rolling! See you next summer…

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