My name is Anya and I am an AmeriCorps program coordinator serving with the University District Food Bank in Seattle through Washington Service Corps. I coordinate two programs through the University District Food Bank, the first is the home delivery program and the second is the Packs for Kids program. In this story of service I will share about Packs for Kids. The program serves students who need meals over the weekend when there is no school. Seattle Public Schools reported that 30.5% of students were on the free and reduced lunch program in October of 2017. When these students are not at school they are still in need of food.
As the Packs for Kids program coordinator, I work with 13 schools, elementary to high school, within our service zone to distribute weekend food for their vulnerable student population. This provides for a total of about 550 students. Through this program there is a chain of service, as I do not interact directly with the students. School counselors organize the distribution to the students and identify which students need this extra support. Then a volunteer from the school, often a PTSA parent member, will pick up the food I provide from the University District Food Bank which they deliver back to their school.
Serving as a program coordinator at the University District Food Bank has broadened my awareness to the different spots food insecurity lies and helps uncover ways that we can provide for those who identify as food insecure. I have been gaining new organizational skills every day and I am happy to be part of this welcoming team.