It’s hard to tell that food waste and hunger is an issue especially if you never experienced having to use food stamps, lack of access to food and being unable to afford food. In every community, there are families that struggles to pay bills, struggle to get an education, struggle to get food and struggles to keep everyone well fed and healthy due to low income, lack of accessibility, the affordability, and lack of support because they simply don’t have the “money” or “privilege”. The Oregon Food Bank, a local organization strives to end hunger and food waste in the world but they also strive to make food more accessible to those who need and can’t afford it; one community at a time.
When I first started volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank, I wasn’t sure what to expect and what I would learn besides how to garden and how to package food. I wasn’t aware that world hunger and food waste was an actual issue because I personally never experienced it myself due to being born into a middle-class family who can afford and access food whenever; it felt like it was unlimited for me and that I would never have to worry about being hungry compared to others. As I became a regular volunteer at the organization, I started to become familiar with the types of people who lives in my community that struggles to afford or even access food and relies on programs like the Oregon Food Bank and food stamps just to get by for the day. Through interaction within the food repackaging program I learned that the Oregon Food Bank isn’t just solely focused on world hunger and food waste but the politics and laws regarding it; they want to spread awareness while making affordability and access more fair to all the income classes and are taking action starting from schools to community programs such as reduced lunch for students with families below, near or at the poverty line.
I can’t express how valuable and important this course is for any individual due to the idea that you’re required to go out and volunteer at organizations that aims for social change. The experience you receive, as boring or tedious as it sounds to volunteer is, is something you’ll take with you for life; it’ll enlighten you, change you and even motivate you to do more. This course offers the opportunity and time to go out to these organizations and volunteer rather than making it another assignment to pile up with others, in fact, it allows you to interact with your classmates and professors more than other classes because of discussions that allows you to talk about what you did and receive feedback from other classmates. As someone who was completely blinded to the issues around me, this course helped open my eyes and allowed me to be more aware of what’s going on around me and the opportunity to be part of a social change, the opportunity to get involved.
This course is entirely an online class and the assignments allows more reflection as an individual which I personally found beneficial because it allowed one to see what one did and if they could improve or learn something from an experience that they would never think twice of after leaving the program. You’ll get feedback from both the professor and your classmates that it’ll turn into a normal interaction rather than just another assignment, learning more about others and yourself while in the process. This course is definitely worth taking and I would recommend any student who’s beginning their upper division cluster to take this class not only because it’s beneficial, a graduation requirement or even “easy” but because it’s also fun and enlightening in more ways than one for yourself as an individual.