A couple months back, I happened to stumble upon a site called Civil Eats. They had an article on a program called Food Corps, and I did some further research on it. I’ve been at a loss for what I wished to do as a career for awhile now. I’ve switched majors in college more than four times (all similar subject areas ex: Art, History, and English). I still haven’t finished college, but I don’t want to waste my money on something I’m not sure about. When I read this article, I felt like I found a break in the clouds. The more I read about the program, the more excited I got about the possibilities it could open up for me.
Food Corps is a program where you dedicate a year of your life to community service, and you help teach nutrition, build school gardens, and work with local farms to place more natural foods onto our children’s lunch trays. I would be helping with other farmers and even help come up with the lunch ideas. There is so much I can benefit from this. Click on the picture to learn more.
I asked my friend/coworker/boss Chrissy to write me a recommendation. She has known me the longest, and can truly know my passion for food or even helping others. She’s very involved herself. She collects and makes blankets to donate, walks for hunger (and inspiring me to do it with her in May), and just does a lot to help out those in need. Chrissy is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met who makes me believe that the small actions we do really make a huge impact. She agreed to write it for me, and like every program I’ve been interested in; supported me on it. It’s wonderful having friends like that.
So I took the time to brainstorm my answers to Food Corp ahead of time. I think I’m just going to share what I wrote for my short answers. I hope it gives you a better view of my passion for food:
1) What qualities or experiences make you a unique candidate for FoodCorps?
(500 character maximum)
My experience with food consists of trial and error and experimenting. I was lucky to not be a picky eater, but my brother was highly allergic to a decent amount of foods. Growing up, I had to get creative and find new recipes to be allergy sensitive. When I moved out of my parent’s house, I realized economy played a huge role on my choices when it came to food. Food is chemistry for the body and it fascinates me how we interact with it. I’ve even started a blog about my connection with food.
2) Why are you so passionate about food, farming, community-building, social justice and/or public health that you are willing to dedicate a year of your life to FoodCorps?
(1000 character maximum)
Food is a source of showing love and it brings people together. It’s the zest in life, and I love the gratifying experience of seeing your tangible work grow around you. With people today being so isolated, community through food gives us a chance to touch base with our roots and work together. I like knowing that I can make a choice in our foods by supporting local farms. I’ve been studying the history of certain foods and how they have changed over the generations, and I feel I can appreciate those foods even more. I like teaching a trade that will carry not only through my life, but promote kids to be able to learn about nutrition on their own. It’s a chance for me to put in my contribution to society and dream for the future. I want to take my time to use on the whole and not just myself. I want to meet and work with the people who inspire my cooking and share that love with the future of our country.
3) How does serving with FoodCorps, specifically, fit into your long-term personal and professional goals? What do you hope to gain from your experience?
(500 character maximum)
My personal long term goals are to become self-sustaining with my own garden and become a cook/baker of natural foods with allergen friendly ideas. The professional side of it would be teaching things that aren’t covered in school and life lessons about nutrition that can change a person’s life. I hope the experience will give me a look into the business aspect of the farming system, and what the process is like to change things within a community or educational system.
4) Being a FoodCorps service member means living on a modest stipend, working in a limited-resource community, and devoting a year to public service. Tell us why you want to do that and provide one or two examples of your ability to overcome challenges and adversity.
(1500 character maximum)
The money is not an issue, because I’m not expecting money so much as personal growth and knowledge. I have lived on my own before, and known what it’s like to live on a minimum amount while still trying to keep healthy. It’s doable, and I’m not afraid to do it again. I want to make another positive and satisfying choice in my life I can look back on. I’ve dealt with adversity before. I’ve trained myself for a marathon and finished on willpower. No one helped train me, and I got myself into shape on my own. I did the research, and I taught myself how to succeed. I also remain calm, safe, and in control while driving a bus of 40 students at a time. Dealing with multiple things happening at once can be stressful, but I slip into a happy place where I dream about the foods I could create. Then I go home, and I make those dreams real and post them on my blog. Considering this is a very competitive program, I believe that this will force me to test my limits and push myself further if I get involved. I think it’s healthy to put yourself in uncomfortable situations that are positive, because you can only grow and push yourself. I see this as a stepping stone to my happiness and a passion I want to pursue. It is a challenge I want to accept and to pass. I see lifelong ties coming from this, and knowledge I can only get with the experience this program can offer me.
5) Is there anything else that would be fun to know about you? Tell us in one sentence.
(150 character maximum)
I love going to jazz clubs, and I play a variety of instruments including the French Horn.
If I make it to the second round of reviews, I should hear back in May this year. Fingers crossed. I picked Massachusetts, Arizona, and North Carolina as my top three places I would like to work in. So until I hear any news, I will continue with my cooking and baking. I’m already taking a look at my backyard and figuring out where and what I want to grow there this year. I have a couple friends interested in helping, and in return they get to pick what they want from the garden. It’s like our own mini CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). If you don’t have the space to grow your own garden this year, I suggest checking out your own local CSA. Local Harvest is a great site to find local farmer’s markets and a CSA near you.
This weekend I plan on going into Boston. There is this little Japanese restaurant that makes amazing dishes for cheap from scratch. I plan to give you the info and tell you more about it. Until then, enjoy the snow if you got any today! I’m going to see what I can dream up. 🙂