Service Learning Reflection #1

(Summer) Service Learning Reflection #1 Placement Site/Location: ___The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri___ *Please type your responses in the format of this document, numbering your answers. Your answers should be at least one paragraph each. Thoughtful reflection of your agency is needed here. 1. Consider the "pillars of poverty" (attached in Canvas), the information in our text and the overall content of this course. What underlying social issue or problem (societal or interpersonal) does your agency attempt to address? Given your knowledge of social work and the human services, why is addressing these issues important? (1) The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri is attempting to address food insecurity throughout our communities. Within social work and human services, addressing these issues are very important and beneficial for our society. Addressing food insecurity can help people meet their basic human needs, and is essential for ensuring the basic well-being and dignity of families and individuals. Addressing this issue can also help with health and nutrition, poverty alleviation, social justice, community development, and child welfare. These issues are important because it aligns with the core principles of promoting these issues related to food insecurity. 2. In your opinion, how well does the agency address this issue? Give examples of how their services target the issues. (2) I believe that this agency addresses this issue very well and efficiently. The food bank addresses food insecurity through a variety of different ways. The biggest way their services target this issue is through food collection and distribution. They collect food donations through many different places/sources and then distribute it. This food bank serves as a central warehouse for storing donated food items for Central and Northeast Missouri. It is then distributed to partner agencies like the Central Pantry here in Columbia, MO. The foodbank also provides emergency food assistance to those who are in immediate need. Another way this agency targets this issue is through child nutrition programs. They give out 'buddy packs' to local schools for children who might not have access to nutritious meals throughout the school year.
3. What have you learned about the population(s) your agency serves? (3) The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri shares food with as many as 100,000 people a month across 32 different counties. They also work with nearly 200 schools to help students receive nutritious foods. The specific population that this food bank serves includes individuals and families who are struggling with food insecurity and may not have easy access to nutritious food. Individuals who may benefit from this service may include children, seniors, families, and low- income individuals. Anyone who faces economic challenges and struggles with lack of nutritious foods can use this resource. 4. What myths or stereotypes have you encountered about the people served by the agency? How might you help others have a better understanding the work of your agency? (4) This food bank serves a wide variety of people who are experiencing food insecurity due to their situation. I have heard about food banks before working at this agency and people have said things like "foodbanks are for the homeless people or "fo odbank clients are all of the same, low- income people". Uneducated people may think that they are only for people who are poor or don't have a flowing income. By now being apart of this agency, I have learned that these stereotypes that people think are right are not true. Educating myself, sharing information with others and volunteering are all ways that can help others have a better understanding of what a food bank truly does for our communities. Raising awareness and understanding what these agencies do does take time to process but would help stomp myths and stereotypes people have.
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