Hi all! My name is Danielle Smith and I am so excited to be the intern this summer for BAG! I graduated from the University of Vermont in December, and enjoyed my time living in Burlington post grad before moving home this summer due to a rock climbing injury. While in Burlington, I stayed busy between interning with Hunger Free Vermont, nannying for four kiddos, volunteering at the food shelf, and trying to figure out my life plans.
During all three and half years at UVM I was an active volunteer and leader in a student organization called FeelGood. The mission of FeelGood is "Ending world hunger, one grilled cheese at a time." Through a student run non-profit deli, we gave away gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches in exchange for a donation to The Hunger Project, an international development organization. My involvement with FeelGood taught me how interconnected hunger is with nearly every other social and economic problem facing people around the world. During the year I spent abroad in Mexico and India, I became more interested in food security and hunger alleviation as a key factor in creating a better future. I saw the benefit that a small school garden had for an entire community living on the outskirts of a landfill, and the corruption facing a government distribution program meant to provide grains to people living below the poverty line. However, one realization I made abroad was that I did not need to travel halfway around the world to make a difference and help people access healthy and affordable food. Upon my return to Vermont, I took all the food related classes I could squeeze into my schedule and became involved in the local Burlington food system. I loved trying new recipes with ingredients from my CSA, and I can't help but smile when I see a farmers market.
The work that BAG does with food recovery is incredible, and I look forward to being able to walk soon and join in a gleaning trip! I loved the community feel at the Strawberry Fete, and have enjoyed my first few weeks in the office learning lots about non-profit management and the BAG model. After this summer, I hope to work on a farm somewhere to better understand the production side of things before looking for a food justice related job or going back to school. Of course, I would first need to know what I'd like to study before going for a masters in either food systems, public health or education.