Reflections from Sarah Carrillo, Leah's Pantry Intern and San Francisco State Health Education (almost) graduate!

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Note from Staff: Sarah, thank you so much for your time and contribution to Leah's Pantry. You will be missed. We are excited to see where you end up for this next chapter of your life. Best of luck! (Sarah is pictured in the middle with the black turtleneck.)

Interning at Leah’s Pantry for the past twelve weeks has been a fantastic and valuable experience. I am truly glad that I was able to be a part of this outstanding organization and that I was able to make a positive impact in my own community. During my time here, I worked to provide support and nutrition health education to several underserved communities. Helping to facilitate nutrition and cooking workshops was a great opportunity that allowed me to share my knowledge and expertise with others. It was such a gratifying experience to witness the growth of these participants throughout the workshop series and to see firsthand the amount of change that can occur in such a short period of time. Also, I did not expect to receive such a large amount of respect and appreciation. I found this to be the case again and again with all of the diverse populations we worked with. In addition to facilitating these workshops and others, I conducted outreach among Calfresh recipients, attended several San Francisco Food Security Task Force Meetings, and helped to promote and spread awareness about the multitude of resources found on Eatfresh.org.

The most surprising part of this internship was to see how well Leah’s Pantry integrated the culmination of everything I learned in the health education program at SFSU. This was most apparent in their workshops which incorporated many aspects of liberation education. Staff members at workshops work alongside their community, constantly processing input and impact to reflect on the changing needs of the population being served. Overall, It was extremely evident that Leah’s Pantry helps to make a difference and therefore is an essential component of the community.

I deeply appreciate everyone who helped to make this an unforgettable experience. This internship has unquestionably made me feel more grounded in my ability to help others and in my understanding of how a nutrition and cooking nonprofit functions. I hope to utilize everything I have learned at Leah’s Pantry so that I can continue to make a difference in the community.