Get up and Volunteer

When I was told we were going to be volunteering in Food Sharing my expectations were that we were going to be in a poor area, and we were going to be handing food out to poor people. I was also expecting to be told what to do or have some structure with the volunteering. I was expecting a lot of Danish people to be helping out with the Food Sharing, but instead, it was various different ethnicities helping. I was extremely shocked about the Food Sharing is a beautiful neighborhood. The first day of volunteering, we went to a room that was located on the second floor. It was small but very well established. I was shocked by the fact that everyone did their own thing and helped out we were not divided into groups we just basically arrived and joined the help. I was surprised at the fact that the people helping were not Danish but, Mexican, Peruvian, American, German, and more. The people that went to get the food was primarily Students or interns that have come mainly from Argentina. This was not what I expected, but it was still lovely.

 My Thought of the Organization is that they are very kind for giving back to the community. Who wouldn’t want to give back to the world, it is always nice to do so? I love that there are people that still volunteer every week with the organization. The one thing I can say is that they need to be able to communicate, their program is all over the place. They need to build a structure on how to get things done and passed out so that everything can go as planned. I was shocked when a person helping said that he was on his break? Usually, when I volunteer in the United States, I do not take a break unless I’m done with my work. 

The most challenging thing to do was getting the food inside the location where we were distributing the food. Also checking the food was a bit hard because I thought that the food was going to be ready just to be handed out to the public. Instead, we had to separate the good from the bad and place them in bins. The Satisfying thing about this was having a sense of happiness because we were giving back to the community. The only disappointing thing I saw was that the volunteers got lazy and did not want to help clean up. They rather sat around and chat with others that were not helping either. I found that rude because we were inside sweating and working while people were outside laughing in the fresh air. The great thing about Food Sharing was that I learned the value of food waste and how my country waste a lot of food, while they should just be giving it for free.

At first, I felt like I was an outsider because of the language barriers not being the same. Also, the way that I was confused with everything when arriving there. I was confused that there was no structure. The difference from being an outsider to the insider was that an outsider is going to be looked upon as a new person that has no experience. Another trait of being an outsider is being very shy and quiet. The insiders on the other hand, are very talkative are always smiling and are greeting everyone with a smile and hugs. My experience with outsiders and insiders is after an hour of being there I felt like an insider because I was getting along with everyone. I was speaking Spanish to the people coming in to get the food, so basically, I felt like I was a regular volunteer. My views on foods did change a lot in the matter that I waste so much food back home. I always buy too much food and let it sit in the refrigerator. So, a valuable lesson from this experience is to not waste food. When I go home if I have left overs I am going to invite my friends that are very low with an income to eat the foods with me.  

There are two readings that connect with my experience for example, Amy Choi states, “The introduction of global foods and brands has compounded food as a status symbol for middle-class Chinese. “Food as status has always been a huge thing in China,” says Mo. “Being able to afford to eat seafood or abalone or shark’s-fin or bird’s-nest soup, or being able to show respect to a VIP by serving them the finest yellow rice wine, is part of our history. Now it’s been modernized by having different Western foods represent status. It could be a Starbucks coffee, or Godiva chocolates, or a Voss water bottle. It’s a way of showing your sophistication and worldliness.”” This means that there is a type of status when eating food. So, my opinion is that if you go to food sharing, you are not part of the general public. In other words, only poverty are the ones that go to food sharing.

Another example that relates is when Carol Schroeder states, “Several major changes in Danish diet appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries. Considering that today potatoes are a staple in traditional Danish cuisine, it is surprising to discover that they were not grown in Denmark until the early 1700s. Potatoes were introduced to Danish farmers at that time by the French Huguenots, who had imported the potato from South America in the 16th century.” Yes, potatoes are very popular even at the Food Sharing. One of the days I managed the potatoes and let me tell you, it was bins and bins full of them. Everyone seems to take a lot of potatoes during the event.

Overall, the one thing I can take from my experience is that I can teach my friends and family the value of food waste. The reason for this is because we tend to buy way too much food, and it usually goes wrong. If I educate them, they will be saving money and helping the environment and community.

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