UofA Nutrition Students Serve Meals to Kids

UofA Nutrition Students Serve Meals to Kids
by Austin, Community Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club Volunteer & NSC395A Student.

As a Senior at the University of Arizona I thought that I had done and seen all that there is to see as a student. Then I received an email two weeks prior to the start of the fall semester with information about a new experimental class titled NSC395a. The email said that the class would emphasize volunteering while also discussing crucial issues in class. Reading over the description I thought this class sounded like an easy A, however I was unaware of all that I would learn throughout the course of the semester. I was assigned to volunteer through the Community Food Bank to serve meals to children at the Boys and Girls Club of America. Never did I think that I would take so much from one experience, working with these children really changed my perspective on the power of volunteering. The children I work with are from the lowest socio-economic status in Tucson with 85 percent of them living in poverty, and 15 percent of those children living in extreme poverty.

Going to the club house to serve meals to these children has been a life changing event. To see the look in the eyes of children that might not eat a meal all day other than the one I am serving to them, it makes you think about your own life and what you take for granted. One child in particular stood out to me, he comes from a broken home of a single mother struggling to raise five children. He gets in trouble a lot due to the lack of discipline in his life and shear frustration of his living arrangement. I still remember the day he told me that the meal I served him was the only one he would eat that day; it was heart breaking. He told us that the bus which takes him to school gets there too late to enjoy the free breakfast, and how most days at lunch the line is too long and he misses out on the free lunch as well. This boy was hungry and you could see it in his eyes.

The fall semester has now come to an end, I hope to continue to be involved in the program in the future. I will now share with you the mission statement of the Boys and Girls club: “We serve those that need help the most”. Never has a statement been so true, the children I work with appreciate all we do for them as volunteers and I appreciate the opportunity to give back. NSC395a has given me the greatest gift of all, the gift of giving. Through giving of my time I and all of our time, as student volunteers, we are changing the lives of those we interact with. That is what this class is truly about; giving back to the community, the very community surrounding our University. Most students forget about those that live outside of the square mile campus that is the U of A, however through classes like NSC395a we will not only remember them, we will see them, we will know them, and if we are lucky enough we might even get the chance to make a difference in just one of their lives.

Learn how you can get involved in the Community Food Bank’s childhood hunger & nutrition programs.