I was an intern at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C. Although the job I was originally hired for, assisting with the management of the urban demonstration garden at CAFB, wasn’t possible due to Covid-19, I was still able to work remotely for the CAFB as a nutrition education intern. As an intern in the nutrition education department, I supported ongoing efforts to bring as much healthy food as possible to the food pantries and ease barriers to healthy eating habits within the communities we served. My first projects relied on collecting data to update key ongoing initiatives and contribute to a quarterly report for the final quarter of the fiscal year of 2020. This included doing a complete nutrient analysis on approximately 100 healthy recipes that the CAFB provides as a resource and collected and analyzed data for all the distribution partners to assess each partner’s capacity for distributing healthy food. At Yale, I am an Environmental Studies major and work as a farm manager for the Yale Sustainable Food Program and a FOOT leader for Yale’s outdoor pre-orientation trips. I am interested in sustainable agriculture and food accessibility, and this position allowed me to interact with the considerations a large non-profit has when trying to relieve hunger and increase food justice in a region. I was interested in how my department fit in to the organization’s mission as I witnessed first-hand how providing food to people is only one step in strengthening food sovereignty and addressing issues at every step in the chain, from who grows the food to how it is prepared and consumed. It was an incredibly meaningful experience to be working at the CAFB during a time of economic crisis, when people relied on hunger relief organizations more than ever. I am extremely grateful to my boss and mentor, Renee Kee, for her patience and guidance that made my internship experience formative and enjoyable. I ended my time feeling inspired by the work of the CAFB and excited to bring my increased awareness about issues leading to food inequity with me to my next endeavors.
Sophie Lieberman, Environmental Studies, SY ’22