Diana Says Goodbye

April 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

After a full year of working at Gleaners and Operation Frontline, my AmeriCorps obligation will sadly end on May 12th. As many of you know, AmeriCorps is a federal program that poses a challenge to its volunteers – complete 1700 hours of service in a year, and you’ll get a living stipend, emergency-based health care, and $4725 to be used for educational expenses.

Reflecting on those 1700 hours reveals how difficult that challenge really is: I was often tested with my financial limitations. With all of this, though, I found myself in a unique situation where I closely identified with the stories in the OFL classroom. Receiving food stamps myself, I felt much more personally attached to the mission of supporting a healthy lifestyle on a limited budget.

Of these 1700 hours, my favorite moments were those spent with participants, learning and being open to new experiences. I was fortunate enough to coordinate a Comer Bien class three blocks from my house, which provided a chance for me to connect with my Spanish-speaking neighbors in a way that I never had before.

I have also treasured meeting OFL volunteers and Gleaners staff, as well as the staff of neighboring organizations – people who are dedicated to improving the food system in our region. As affiliates of Gleaners, we have a powerful voice in shaping the public’s view of hunger, who is affected by it, and ways in which we can create sustainable solutions. I am proud to have been part of this conversation for a year, and I hope to continue creating meaningful discussions in the future.

Thanks, everyone, for a wonderful year!

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Food budgeting: Feeding a family on a food stamp budget Volunteer spotlight: Mary Gisslander

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This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH. Space-Limited USDA/DHS/MNN Credit Statement This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. These institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. People who need help buying nutritious food for a better diet call the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline: (855) ASK-MICH.

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