Getting older isn’t easy. With age comes strain and difficulty doing basic things without assistance. Among the basic things includes choosing what to eat. At some point, limited choice becomes commonplace. As a member serving in Spokane, Washington, our efforts aim to expand choice and accompany aging individuals through weekly meals.
My name is April, and I’m the Campus Kitchens AmeriCorps at Gonzaga University, serving primarily the Northeast Spokane community through the Washington Service Corps. My position serves to repurpose food donated by campus dining and other community partners into meals to deliver out to two youth shelters, low income senior housing residents, a homeless shelter, the American Indian Community Center, and the families of the Logan neighborhood at Logan Elementary School. Our work attempts to address the challenges that arise from food insecurity by offering choice and community.
At the O’Malley Senior Apartments, we try to expand the limited choices and give our seniors a wider variety of food options twice a week. While it doesn’t completely remove the limitations on choice, it eases it. Yet I’ve noticed what the meals really bring is a sense of accompaniment. Around 20 individuals attend our lunch and 17 are signed up to receive meals at their home. These last few months, together we’ve been able to create a warm and welcoming environment. By providing consistent and distinct meals, we have been given the ability to provide choice and quality to the residents at O’Malley. As my service has progressed, I feel even more inclined to pursue a career devoted to service and the betterment of communities. I look forward to the continual building of community between our volunteers and residents of Northeast Spokane.