A group of high school students were eager to help out their community, however, they were not sure what to do. There were many opportunities at various different places, but the group struggled to figure out where to volunteer. One student in this group, Anna Yoon, was told by her mother about a certain food rescue called “Cultivate.” Cultivate is an organization where people of any age can participate and either package food for children all around Indiana or check inventory and make sure everything is in place.
This opportunity sounded like the perfect place for this group to volunteer. On January 30th, 2021, the friends made their way to Cultivate to help out. At the food rescue, the students were given rules, including one that stated all students must wear a mask and social distance when they can and that hairnets must be worn at all times so their hair will not get into the food. After the group of students followed these procedures, they were placed into a line with different stations, where they could efficiently package foods. The different stations were separated by food groups and specific tasks. At one station, students would put various foods from different groups onto a tray, while at another station, they would package the tray and place it into a rack where they would later be shipped off to children in need.
One student by the name of Joshua Kim, expressed the enjoyment he gained from this experience. Kim expressed, “This experience was really fun. I got to help people in need while also getting to see and interact with my close friends again.”
After three hours of diligent packing, the students were finally done. The group packaged over 700 meals to give away to students in need. Jaden Shim, who also attended, described it as an astonishing way to spend his time. “Cultivate was my first real experience of volunteering, and helped me see first-hand how meals are prepared for these kids, and why it is so important. These kids depended on us to package this food for them, which made it feel even more real and important.” Jaden was not the only one who felt this way, as the entire group enjoyed their time volunteering.
Cultivate is a wonderful opportunity to help those in need and can be suited for volunteers of all ages. For this group of high school students, not only was this a fun experience, but it also made them feel good, since they were able to give their community a helping hand.