What the Food Bank Taught Me

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(Editor's Note: Stephanee has been our Public Relations intern here at the Food Bank for the past three months. Her last day was last Friday and we wish her the best of luck!)

When I first began my internship at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) in March, I had a general idea of what it is that the Food Bank does. I had the impression that this is a nonprofit that simply gives food to struggling families. But as my internship approaches its end, I can’t believe that I thought the Food Bank’s job was that simple. I realize and understand now that ACFB is much more than what I previously thought it was and expected it to be.

To me, the Atlanta Community Food Bank seems to be a family of people that work together to fight hunger by educating and engaging the community. This is a group of people that share a passion for helping those in need, and they each happily and aggressively play their part in making sure that goal is accomplished.

While working as the public relations intern, it became apparent to me that this is an organization that not only plays a key role in providing nutritional food to people in need all across metro Atlanta and north Georgia, but also raises awareness on the issue of hunger and encourages the community to become involved in the fight against it. I can see that ACFB serves as a leader in the fight against hunger, a provider to those that are in need, and a friend to the community.  

My newfound knowledge is not only limited to the role that ACFB plays in the community though. I’ve been educated by the Food Bank and I’m leaving with a much better understanding of hunger, period. Of course, I already knew that people received food stamps  I was previously aware that there were people out there somewhere that didn’t have access to food some nights; but ACFB has made the issue of hunger become much more real to me. This issue that affects more than 20% of people living in Georgia, almost 29% of Georgia’s children, and more than 11% of our senior citizens, has been personified for me. I’ve learned that hunger is more than a stomachache; it is the root of the problem for so many other things in our community. I was blessed with an opportunity to work at ACFB and it has changed my view on hunger forever.  

The information that I acquired here at ACFB has allowed me to stop viewing hunger as a distant problem that only occurred in low income neighborhoods that I never crossed paths with. Thanks to ACFB, I am now much more aware that the suffering from food insecurity is more common than I could have ever imagined, and that this issue is not limited to the communities across town from mine. I now know how important it is for me to fulfill my role as a member of my community by doing what I can to help those around me, and from now on, I will play my part.

--Stephanee McKinney, Junior at Georgia State University
Major: Journalism/PR