Team Carolina Joins the Fight Against Hunger for AmeriCorps Week

By powell on June 13, 2011 in AmeriCorps

“I haven’t met you yet, have I?” a man cordially asked me, as I ventured onto the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s Raleigh, N.C. farm, along with dozens of fellow AmeriCorps members.

He was correct. We had not met yet, so I introduced myself as Denechia Powell of Georgia, proud member of AIDS United AmeriCorps Team Carolina. We shook hands, he learned that I was a Georgia Bulldog, and I learned he was a Tar Heel devotee.

It was not until later that I realized the man I had chatted with was Mr. Bob Eaves, husband of Governor Bev Perdue and the First Gentleman of North Carolina. Mr. Eaves had been invited to the farm in honor of AmeriCorps Week, which was observed this year from May 14 to May 21, 2011. AmeriCorps Week gives AmeriCorps members a chance to come together and show local, state, and federal government officials how invaluable our service is to our communities.

AIDS United AmeriCorps Team Carolina, along with other local groups, including Access JobLink AmeriCorps and Public Allies North Carolina, gathered at the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s farm on Thursday, May 19, 2011 to get our hands dirty planting vegetables. We learned that the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle strives to end hunger in the community by recovering food from local donors (6.7 million pounds of food are projected to be recovered in 2011). The innovative non-profit operates a farm in Raleigh and another in Carrboro, N.C., where produce is grown to be sold at local farmer’s markets and at-risk youth are instructed on how to develop their own gardens.

Our time on the farm not only provided us with an opportunity to give back to our community, but also a chance to meet other AmeriCorps members and share our experiences. We also learned eye-opening facts about farming. For example, did you know that only three percent of the population in the United States grows its own food? You really do learn something new every day as an AmeriCorps member.

As we surveyed the rows of freshly planted vegetables at the end of our day of service, Team Carolina was amazed at how much we were able to accomplish in such a short period of time. It is our hope that our service project, along with the many others completed across the country during AmeriCorps Week, serves as proof that a world without AmeriCorps would be a bleak one indeed.

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