Over the past year, Meghan Elain Dempsey has spent nearly all of her afternoons after school (and during Christmas break) volunteering as an intern with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Nutrition Education team. She is finishing up her senior year at Wakefield High School and looking forward to attending Appalachian State in the fall (on a full scholarship!) to pursue a degree in Nutrition.
What does it mean to be a Nutrition Education intern?
I mainly help run with Cooking Matters classes. I’ve taught several Cooking Matters for Kids classes and just finished my first bilingual Cooking Matters for Adults class. I also help out with office work and Mobile Markets. In addition, I spent a lot of time out at the Food Shuttle Farm Stand earlier this year and have volunteered at the WakeMed farmers’ market as well.
Working with children can be quite rewarding. Would you agree?
My first class was Cooking Matters for Kids class at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School. I was just a class assistant back then, but the class was still such an amazing experience. The kids were extremely receptive and excited to learn. I felt like I really formed a close bond with each of them.
It was heart breaking to have to say goodbye to them at the end of the class, but they wrote all of the volunteers personalized thank you notes for having helped run the course. It was so sweet! It made me feel like we had really been able to do something special for them.
What would you say to someone who was considering volunteering with IFFS?
I would tell them that I’ve never volunteered at a place where the staff were so welcoming, the participants were so excited, and the programs were so fun! I chose IFFS originally for its ability to allow me to volunteer in the nutrition field, but I’ve stayed because the work we do and the people here are so amazing.
By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@FoodShuttle.org