Volunteer Spotlight of the Month: Hunger Study Volunteers

September 25, 2013 By: Sara Blair Category: WordPress Import

Every four years, Feeding America and its network of member food banks coordinate a landmark study assessing hunger across the nation. The data collected from the study, called the Hunger Study, is then used to inform hunger-relief strategy, programs and important policy decisions.

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of the Hunger Study. This year, two interns and 21 volunteers contributed more than 850 hours to survey more than 440 of our hungry neighbors throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The volunteers visited 94 of our agency partner programs in 34 counties. Together, they drove over 10,000 miles—enough to travel across the United States three times!

Michelle Foster, a Hunger Study volunteer, worked on the study because she’s interested in the link between nutrition and public health. “My role as a lead data collector was to put people at ease, be respectful of their time and explain the survey and the technology,” Michelle said. “When I explained that the survey could forecast future hunger relief program needs, people were excited to participate and make a difference.”

She added that her opinion about people who use food shelves was “totally blown out of the water.” “I talked to people who had no safety net and lost all their food because of storms,” she recalls. “I talked to young people, elderly people, people who were using the food shelf for the first time and people of all ethnicities. It changed the way I think about people and hunger.”

Mary Cripe, another Hunger Study volunteer, learned about the opportunity to help from her employer’s monthly volunteer email. She said meeting agency clients was inspiring to her. “There are many people in need, and I liked meeting and talking with them firsthand. We are all together on the front lines of hunger relief,” she said.

Thank you to all Hunger Study interns and volunteers! Your support will directly impact hunger relief for years to come!


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