Time spent at Eagle River Valley Food Bank changing one student’s perspective (letter) | VailDaily.com

Time spent at Eagle River Valley Food Bank changing one student’s perspective (letter)

Eagle River Valley Food Bank does good work

I am completing my senior year of college this year as a Guardian Scholar at Colorado Mesa University. My summer internship with Eagle River Valley Food Bank, a project of Our Community Foundation, has been an amazing experience.

To be part of a start-up company, and work on a new project that is helping people in the community where I grew up, has personal rewards. This was a great opportunity, and I am happy to be a part of something that is so much bigger then myself. The work I am doing for Eagle River Valley Food Bank is good, and it makes me happy.

Eagle River Valley Food Bank is based out of a warehouse in Gypsum. The food bank focuses on healthy people, strong communities and environmental sustainability through three primary functions:

1. Grocery rescue. Eagle River Valley Food Bank picks up local grocery store food that does not meet visible quality standards, but the product is still healthy and would be otherwise thrown away.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

2. Food bank. Eagle River Valley Food Bank takes donations from grocery rescue and stores the products, making sure that the food is safe for distribution. Along with donated food products, Eagle River Valley Food Bank also purchases products through Food Bank of the Rockies and other discounted and donated sources. The Food Bank is also open to partner with other local organizations that address hunger.

3. Mobile pantry. A mobile pantry travels to local communities and gives out food at designated stops. We go into the community, providing convenience to working families and removing any perceived stigma of receiving food from a food bank.

As a marketing and management major, this experience has been very helpful. A start-up involves a lot of work to establish business processes and systems, and it’s all coming together with Eagle River Valley Food Bank. I was very impressed with how the warehouse was set up when I started working and how we have improved efficiencies through building systems. We need volunteers regularly at the warehouse; if you want to help, then learn more at ourcommunity foundation.org.

This internship is changing my career plans. Originally, I had planned to be an event planner when I graduate. Now I can see myself in the nonprofit field, and that will probably include opportunities to plan events, as well.

Nick Mejia


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