Lehlohonolo Caroline Nonyane is a South African student studying business on the Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) program at Whatcom Community College. Below she writes about her idea of hunger in the United States before participating in the NWCCI program and how her understanding has changed as a result of recent field trip to the Bellingham Food Bank.
Many people who have never been in the United States of America or they are not well informed about this big country will start realizing that “knowledge is the key to success,” after reading this article. Many people all over the world have this stereotype that there is no poverty in America and everyone is living a perfect and comfortable life. The true sense of this is that every country in the world faces poverty. Before coming to the United States, I was also one of those people who didn’t know America because of the mindset that I had. I thought that no one in America was suffering from hunger and there was not a high unemployment rate, because it is one of the economically developed countries in the world. Unfortunately every country has economic problems regardless how developed the country may be. Conversely there are solutions that help eradicate these issues, but the question is are those solutions really helping or not? That is also one of the aspects why are went to Bellingham Food Bank.
The Bellingham Food Bank is a place that helps people who come from backgrounds that cannot afford to buy food here in America. The food bank is a nonprofit organization and has many sponsors from markets to farmers. It is rapidly growing because even the community at large is recognizing it and tries to assist them with anything that they have. For an instance, people who have a lot of food and do not know what to do with them are welcome to bring the food in the food bank. Secondly, if you have a fruit tree or vegetable garden in your yard, you can tell the food bank about it and they can come and pick the fruits or the vegetables of what you are willing to donate to those who are in need. Lastly, The food bank is an initiative that offers many opportunities to the community like volunteer work , fund-raising, and other events just to name a few. The food that the food bank provides to the community is extremely fresh and healthy.
My self-reflection about the food bank was seeing and learning how the communication of the market to the community residents works and the importance of it. It showed me that the food markets don’t only aim to gain profit but they really care about their customers and they are always willing to give back to the community through programs like the Bellingham Food Bank. As a result, food banks help reduce hunger in the America. This has inspired a young and upcoming African leader like me to do the same in my country and in future.