Banner

Wakefield ’23: Crooked Creek Food Pantry

The summer of 2020 has been an extremely strange one for everyone and everything due to the covid-19 epidemic. For those, including myself, that have taken part in internships with the Global Health Initiative we have been working essentially on the front lines helping those in need as a result of this epidemic. My internship this summer has been through the Crooked Creek Food Pantry located in Pike township, IN. Crooked Creek is responsible for helping to feed those that are not capable of spending any excess earnings on food at the grocery stores. As it currently stands, Crooked Creek services an average of six hundred families a week in Pike township.As a result of covid-19, the daily operation of the pantry hasbeen altered greatly from their normal means of operation. For example, those that use the services of the pantry are no longer capable of doing their own shopping in person and must pick up any food received from areas set up outside to ensure that social distancing orders are maintained and the safety of patrons and the volunteers are ensured. To do this, preselected food items are set out on a table and patrons must take everything given to them. My job as an intern is to ensure that the day to day activities of the pantry canrun smoothly and successfully. These duties vary depending on the day of the week. Generally, we spend Mondays and Tuesdays working on organizing the pantry and restocking our supplies of food. Our largest contributors of the foodwe receive is given to us through Gleaners Food Pantry, and Midwest Food Bank. Also, due to covid-19, our government has increased their spending on TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program). These three supply chains are what allows Crooked Creek to maintain itsdailyfunction.Fortherest of the days in the week, we are handing out the food received earlier in the week to patrons. As described earlier, patrons no longer can do their own shopping to maintain social distancingorders. So, forthese days of the week, it is my job to ensure that all patrons receive all their food and that everyone receives the exact same food. Due to this internship, I have gained extremely important information that I will be able to use in the rest of my time in Healthcare. The most important information that I have gained is a deeper insight into how social determinants of health play a role in those that use the pantries services. By this I mean things like income, family, housing, lifestyle, etc. play a role on the health of an individual. For example, I learned that a close majority of patrons at the pantry are diabetic. I learned that this was due to the determinant of income because people that tend to make less money have less of an ability to choose healthy food options that will prevent any chances of becoming diabetic.

Wakefield ’23