Philabundance VISTAs: Making an Impact
Over the past year, Philabundance was very fortunate to have six AmeriCorps VISTAs working in several departments. I sat down to speak with my fellow VISTAs to ask them, “what impact do you feel you made on the community during your AmeriCorps service with Philabundance?”
I sat down with Jennifer Wright, our former Policy and Planning VISTA in the Government Relations Department. During her VISTA year at Philabundance, she assisted those working on local, state, and national levels in the fight against hunger. She also worked with the National CSFP Association to create a nationwide report on seniors’ access to federal hunger relief benefits, and assisted in developing a variety of innovative projects with Philabundance and its partner organizations. The VISTA program provided a great opportunity to start a career in health policy and to work towards eradicating hunger and malnutrition, and I’m excited to be staying on at Philabundance as a permanent employee.”
Shannon, who just wrapped up her second year VISTA term in Government Relations replied, “During my VISTA service, I have worked a lot on creating maps of the Philabundance service area. These maps help to inform our constituents and supporters on the issues prevalent in our community as well as the services we offer.”
Yasmin, our Agricultural Initiatives VISTA worked to develop and strengthen Philabundance’s agricultural programs. She said “through further development of our gleaning program as well as several charitable garden partnerships, we can ensure that Philabundance’s clients are not only receiving food; they are receiving healthy, fresh, and local food—key to a nutritious and healthy diet.”
I worked with Philabundance’s direct service team. I believe that my greatest contribution has been sharing information about where people can get food assistance. I shared this information with parents and guardians at Lowell Elementary School in the Olney section of Philadelphia during our monthly KidsBites program distributions. I also distributed the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging’s, food resource guides and Philabundance’s food resource flyers to over 500 seniors in Southeastern PA, informing them of places to receive food assistance and other resources.
It was a great year for the Philabundance VISTAs. Together we impacted the community in many meaningful ways.