By Ashley Stahmer, Communications Intern
When I decided to stay in Newark for the summer for this internship, my expectations were relatively low. I thought I’d spend a few days each week organizing papers or working on spreadsheets. Instead, my experience this summer impacted me in ways I never would have expected.
I owe most of that to my supervisor, Kim Turner, for giving me so many opportunities to work independently and expand my skills. Over the past two months, I’ve interviewed a number of students in The Culinary School and written articles about them. Having the chance to sit down with the students did so much more than help me improve my journalist skills, though. It was humbling to hear their stories and the struggles they’ve been through, but it was even more inspirational to listen to their plans for the future.
When I sat down for my first interview at the start of summer, I never thought I would become so invested in the students and their progress in the program. By the time they were presenting their final dishes, though, I was so proud of them and all that they’ve learned. Now, I’m waiting to hear on the progress of one student’s bakery and another’s plans to audition for MasterChef.
Beyond The Culinary School, Kim and I also went out to summer meal and produce distribution sites several times. Meeting the children and families who receive food through the Food Bank reminded me why everyone here works so hard. The Food Bank helps people in ways that I never even knew about. As I’ve spent my spare time this summer reading how the programs have impacted people living with food insecurity, I’ve realized why it’s crucial to have organizations like this.
Whether it’s been collecting food donations at the Delaware State Fair or snapping photos at Grab and Go meal sites, I’ve been proud to rock the Food Bank’s signature tie-dye shirt all summer. It’s been a pleasure to meet everyone impacted by the work done here. Everyone – the culinary students, families picking up food, and the people working in this office – has been welcoming and gracious. I’m looking forward to visiting the new location in the spring and can’t wait to hear about all of the great work the Food Bank will keep doing.