FIND Food Bank’s First Youth Advisory Council Share What They Learned About Hunger in Our Community
Read a full feature on the council from the LQ Gem (page 20) – Local High School Student Finds Way to Help Those in Need
On April 8th, I attended the Find Food Bank Youth Telethon for the first time, it was a exciting and informative experience. The Youth Advisory Board saw behind the scenes of FIND’s biggest fundraising event of the year. It was amazing to see the different performances and events from groups all around the Coachella Valley. It was astonishing to see how many different organizations and cities support FIND Food Bank. FIND’s services have impacted and touched people in the Coachella Valley in many ways. As a result of this, individuals and businesses who recognize FIND’s impact on the community made considerable donations to support FIND’s cause to fight hunger.
First hand seeing all of the work that FIND employees put in and experiencing the intense dedication to ending all hunger in the valley was eye opening. The positive atmosphere surrounding the telethon allowed it to be a fun but also educational experience. I learned how a community can rally around an organization, recognize that they are doing something life changing, and support it in the amazing way that they did.
It was a great way for the Youth Advisory Board to see the impact were making and see what were working for. It allowed us to get to know each other more, and brought us closer together in striving for an end to youth hunger. Overall, seeing the amazing impact that the FIND Food Bank Telethon and the FIND Food Bank have on the community and individuals was extremely impactful.
Palm Desert High School
The Find Food Bank Youth Advisory Councils first meeting consisted of getting to know all about Find Food Bank and what our job is as members of the council. We began the meeting with meaningful icebreakers and an informational slideshow. We got to learn the basics of hunger our valley faces, who it affects, and how far Find Food Banks reach is. We ended the meeting with a tour of the food bank grounds and it was eye opening to see the magnitude of what Find Food Bank does. They beat hunger through providing food to thousands of people within our valley. Being a part of such an amazing cause fills my heart with joy. I am happy that I will be able to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate throughout our valley. The reason that made me want to be a part of such a great organization was the fact that I would be part of the solution in helping other youth in my valley beat hunger. I want to be someone that people at my school can approach and be able to talk freely about hunger and how to alleviate it. I found it amazing that this organization was created with such great members who all have valuable opinions and thoughts on helping hunger through the valley. I am very fortunate to not have faced hunger in my life, however knowing that other young people in the valley face it makes me feel heartbroken. However, it makes being a part of this council that much better. Being able to help the less fortunate through this youth council, with other like minded individuals is such a great opportunity that I so graciously accepted and I am excited about what the future holds on this council.
Joining the FIND Food Banks organization has been eye-opening. Since joining the youth advisory council, I realized that I only knew the topics addressed and taught on a surface level. I never knew how many people struggle with food insecurity and how big of an issue it is locally. I never realized how ignorant I was of the issues near me and how the issues were right in front of me but I never thought anything more of it. I’ve learned that there is food insecurity all over the desert but a higher concentration in some areas. In these areas, they have little to no resources. These areas have a higher poverty rate and less access to fresh healthy food. I want to help the community through Find Food Banks by helping the issues of food insecurity and hunger in families because no one should worry about where their next meal is coming from, especially not children. Imagine going to school or work all day just to have one meal and nothing else and being asked to perform as well as someone who doesn’t worry about where their next meal is coming from, especially if you are in a sport or do after-school activities. Everyone should have access to healthy foods and not deal with the social stigma around asking for or receiving help. If we want to end hunger and food insecurity, we as a society have to address the problem at hand and fix it. Society deems that you aren’t trying enough if you need to ask for help but that simply isn’t true. Most Americans go through poverty and food insecurity in their lives but those who admit it are shamed by others. I joined the Find Food banks youth advisory council because I admired what they were striving for in the valley. The Find Food Banks organization doesn’t just think of ways to help the community but acts on the issues of hunger and food insecurity.
My experience at FIND Food Bank can be described in one word: eye-opening. I was presented with so much information about hunger in Southern California that I had not previously known before. Did you know 14 million children in the United States alone are not getting enough to eat? Neither did I, but with the help of Find Food Bank, I became aware of these problems and got to help. I attended multiple Youth Saturdays where I got to package food to give out at the food distributions. I had an amazing time getting to know new people and knowing I was making a difference in the community.
I believe everyone should make the effort to volunteer at Find Food Bank at least once. Everything they do is for a good cause and makes you feel like you are a part of a community that wants to make a difference. They bring all sorts of people together with one mission: to make sure every family in our area has enough to eat. The people that work at FIND Food Bank are extremely kind and truly are in it for the joy in seeing the smiles of the people they help.