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Archive for March, 2012

 

Mar 06 2012

GU SIM Gives Back- Bread for the City

by at 9:51 am


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By Chauntay Mickens

Monday, February 27, 2012

This past Monday afternoon, fellow SIM student and I, Kristen Gibbons were able to volunteer time at the Bread for the City food pantry located in NW DC.  We walked into the food kitchen to find out what our task would be for the day and were instantly greeted with a hug from Ms. Jeanette, the food pantry coordinator who has been working in this community for over 40 years.  She thanked us before we even began our day’s work and she told us how much she appreciated people who came and volunteered their time.  The first step was washing our hands, tying our hair back and putting on gloves because we would be packing raw meat.   Kristen and I were able to instantly connect because of our past volunteer and non-profit experiences; which we chatted about while placing pieces of donated foods into small bags.  The meat selection for the day was fresh deer meat (which smelled like how it sounds) packed in butcher paper, frozen veggie patties (to be honest didn’t look quite appetizing), battered frozen chicken & fish pieces and pork substitute patties.  Each bag was packed with about a pound of meat then placed on a cart for display.  Most of us wouldn’t dare to eat any of these “meat” products, but unfortunately this was all the kitchen could offer. 

The food pantry receives donated items each day from local vendors, but usually the food is close to expiration or the foods are the left over’s that no one else wanted.  Not only were the patrons allowed to choose two meat products, but also a can of generic tomatoes, one other canned vegetable, a bag of navy beans and one can of fruit cocktail, which was supposed to serve a family of 3 for a week.  The families were so happy and grateful to get these groceries, but inside all I could think was this wasn’t fair.  I can admit that I’ve never eaten navy beans and I have no desire to eat them, but everyday I am able to make choices of what foods I want to eat.  I go to Whole Foods and pick my organic vegetables and meat, I probably go out for Sushi about once a week with friends and I am a foodie/food snob.  I come from a modest upbringing, but I’ve never known the feeling of going without food, I would usually get upset if I couldn’t get the latest Northface backpack and new pair of Jordans, that was struggling for me.

            I believe, we as students need to use our time in the great city of Washington, D.C. to learn from the experiences of the people of this community.  We cannot grow as learners, thinkers or individuals if we stay in our comfort zones without venturing out to see how other people live.  Several years ago I made a life long commitment to service, which means giving back to the community in any way I can, not just once a year around the holidays, but making it apart of my everyday life.  Being a student in the SIM program gives us the responsibility to be honest, ethical and socially conscious individuals, in the humanitarian spirit of Georgetown, because we can make a difference (not to sound corny).   Community service shouldn’t be seen as something to put on our resumes or something that makes us feel better because we think we are “helping the unfortunate people of the world” because if you see it as this, you probably shouldn’t do it, but instead it should be seen as our moral duties and obligation to society.

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