This fall, we are so fortunate to be hosting a team of 4 fantastic students from WPI that are completing their Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) with us. Our fantastic team of four and their respective majors are: Abigail (Abby) Hanson (biomedical engineering), Rose Gougian (chemical engineering), Seungjoon (Peter) Lee (biomedical engineering), and Garrett Peters (civil engineering). Their involvement with various aspects of the food system, including from volunteering at soup kitchens, churches, community service projects, and an on-campus food activism group, inspired each of them to select us as their project site.
The goal of their project here is to gather information from and about similar organizations regionally and nationally to identify strategies that CHP can use and learn from. Their focus areas for strategies include volunteer farming, food distribution, education programming, and financial support. This team is hard at work interviewing organizations near and far, from Gaining Ground Concord, MA to the Arizona County Food Bank, who has a wealth of nutrition education and community engagement programs. While they are seeing themes arise throughout their interviews and conversations, they are also seeing just how different each farm and organization is in their programs and approach. Simultaneously, they have been hard at work creating our Giving Tuesday video.
To share a bit more about their research and experience here, We turned the tables and asked them a few questions! Here are the results.
Their favorite interview so far: The team agrees “that America’s Grow A Row has been our favorite interview. We loved talking with Chip (the founder) and hearing about the story on how it became an organization and how much passion he has for it.”
Their favorite thing about spending their project at CHP: They cite the CHP team’s passion. “Being around people that are so enthusiastic about what they do and seeing the dedication towards hunger relief and bringing communities together is motivating for our project.”
Their biggest learning so far: The team notes that learning all of the details that support an organization’s operation has been quite a process. It also sounds like they are already carrying these learnings with them when not working on their project. Garrett said that he heard about a food hub on the radio and prior to the project, he wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but when he heard it recently, it made him contemplate all of the factors and details that would go into it to be successful.
We marvel daily at this team’s dedication to the project at hand, working diligently and thoroughly to produce the best results they possibly can. The team will be completing their project for mid-December: we are eagerly awaiting their findings and so grateful for their help!