Our training days never do end up this intense…

Training season is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love going to work with different groups, designing engaging training sessions for their specific needs, and seeing what they get from it and how they choose to implement what they learn. My first session of 2013 was this past Saturday with the 36 RAs of Emmanuel College Residence Life. And, given the timing of the challenge, this was the first group that I had the opportunity to share the SNAP Challenge with.

As I wrote about yesterday, I decided to hold something of a bake sale to allow students and coworkers to give to the project in a less structured manner. After our session on time management and relaxation techniques, I talked to them about the setup of the project, where their money would be going, and what their options were (banana bread or PB&J cupcakes). My coworker and the organizer of training had told them a bit about it ahead of time and asked them to bring money, but this was the first time I got to tell students: “This is what I’m doing, this is why, this is where the money goes- will you help me?”

The fruits of my baking fun!

I took the desserts over to where we all had lunch, and expected them to give a dollar here and there in exchange for a sweet treat after their pizza. But I was honestly blown away by their generosity. In a group of 36 students and 5 staff, and with leftovers I will be donating $51 to the Greater Boston Food Bank in their name. But I got something even more valuable from it.

As I was moving from the presentation space to the atrium where we had lunch, I got to chat with a student who wants to take on the challenge herself! Her awareness of Mayor Booker’s project, combined with a few others she had seen doing it, made her interested in the process. What’s more, she wants to use the project as a means to engage in a conversation about class on campus. Emmanuel College is admittedly a college that is populated largely by students of means, and this topic came up earlier this week as staff and administrators gathered to talk about the mission of the institution. But in talking to Kayla about facilitating dialogue on class, I realized that the students see it too. So as excited as I am about their generosity and willingness to help me, I’m even more excited that a student independently thought of it as a way to educate our students. I’m so encouraged to continue that conversation with her, and to see what will come of it moving forward. And I can’t wait to talk to more students about the project as they return in droves on Wednesday, and am hoping to garner even more support as I tell them more about it.

I’m doing this in hopes to raise awareness about food instability, and money for the Greater Boston Food Bank. Should you feel compelled to give to the latter, please click the link below! I thank you, as will those who benefit from the money that you give 🙂

Previous Posts:

The Dilemma of “Found Food”

Transformers (Meals in Disguise)

Crunching Some Numbers

Pondering Privilege

The Pantry Problem

Oh SNAP! Introducing SNAP Challenge 2013

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