I’ve always known Local Matters does great work in the community, even prior to this fellowship I had seen the name around and heard through friends and peers who engaged with them how important their programming was. From the beginning, it was always on my ‘to-do’ list to go see a class Local Matters provides in action, but scheduling never worked out. My schedule this semester allowed for much more free mornings, so I finally got to go see a class! And it was absolutely wonderful.
I observed and helped a little bit with a Food Matters class at a head start program near Linden Park last week. The Food Educators, David and Monique, engaged these preschoolers in talking about food and where it comes from and how it grows. The kids were so captivated and well-behaved and interested in knowing more about different types of vegetables! We made little salads for them to try, and pointed out which part of the plant each vegetable came from. I also learned a secret from David to get kids to try salad, they mixed a little syrup in the dressing so it was sweet! I never would have guessed.
Without knowing what these kids eat at home or how these classes every week will change their lives, it’s hard to judge the true impact it will have. But I know it means something to them when they get so excited to see Monique and David walk in, or when at the end one little girl told me she was going to ask her mom to make salad for dinner. Having this experience, I feel more confident writing correspondence to donors and supporters knowing first-hand that the programs they are supporting do provide life-changing experiences. Moving forward, I am working early corporate donor and sponsorships for the 2016 Harvest Ball, which is Local Matters’ largest annual fundraiser. I’m absolutely enjoying my time learning and working with the Local Matters’ team, as well as taking pride in knowing I’m contributing in a small way towards these larger community goals.