(Tyler with 3 other interns from last summer)
Some of you may recognize a familiar face who has been popping up more. Tyler was an intern last year, and in July he joined the CHP team as the Partnership Fellow Anti- Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA. We asked Tyler to explain a bit more about himself and his new position at CHP.
Q: How did you get involved at CHP?
A: I first heard about CHP through a program at my (now) alma mater, Holy Cross. During my junior year, I worked to think of bright ideas for the farm through the school’s Career Services department, got an internship with CHP through Holy Cross’s Government and Community Relations department that following summer, and entered a year of service through the AmeriCorps VISTA/Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps with them after college. CHP just grew on me!
Q: What will you be doing as Partnership Fellow AmeriCorps VISTA?
A: Most of my work includes research into providing better access to nutritious produce for the food insecure populations that CHP serves. But more than data collection and analysis goes into that! To name a few responsibilities, I also get to meet with partners, analyze distribution processes, manage groups of volunteers, and connect with food insecure populations directly, as part of my mission to end hunger.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as our Partnership Fellow AmeriCorps VISTA?
A: I’d like to at least set the groundwork for more infrastructure that will make access to CHP’s nutritious food easier for people experiencing food insecurity. That will include systematic and uniform data collection techniques, standardized approaches to serving our partners, and identifying the food insecure populations we can aid best. But most of all, I want to connect more deeply to everyone around me, including those we serve.
Q: Why does the CHP matter to you?
A: I have a very unique and special relationship to the farm. Undoubtedly, CHP is an amazing non-profit and has an unmatched volunteer experience, which generates a community of love and growth for all. But most of all, CHP matters because it has been a community of love and growth for me. Everyone here has seen me grow as a person, professional, and thinker. So, being here, helping out in this grand vision, I am humbled to be a part of an entity so impactful.
Q: What is your favorite farm task?
A: HOEING! I love how physically taxing it is. I grew up in a family that did yard work and manual labor for fun. A lot of family time was literally a labor of love. So as an intern, all I wanted to do was get dirty and work hard, and hoeing gave me just that! (I secretly hope that I can do that again one day.)
Q: When you’re not at the barn, what activities do you enjoy?
A: When I’m not at the barn, I have a ton of fleeting passions. For instance, I like to hang out with friends and family, run, work-out, bake bread, play guitar, write poetry, or go hiking. But above all, I love to walk and write (usually at the same time) for long periods of time. Doesn’t sound like anything too crazy, but the experience is exhilarating! The longer the walk, the more profound of an experience for me.
Q: What’s your favorite vegetable? How do you like to cook it?
A: My favorite veggie is spinach. Mostly because it makes me feel like Popeye. And I like it best sautéed or steamed over tomato, mozzarella, and bread… almost like Bruschetta… but with more fiber!