This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Crooked Creek Food Pantry in Indianapolis. The CCFP serves the underprivileged population of central Indiana helping to fight food insecurity in the community. The CCFP is sponsored by a community health clinic, Eskenazi Health Pecar Clinic. In fact, the CCFP and Pecar are physically connected to each other. The CCFP has been growing rapidly, with the number of people served in July 2022 around 75% higher than the amount of people served in July 2021. The CCFP receives more than 3,000 shopping visits per month from those in need.
During my time with the CCFP, me and my fellow Wabash interns served over 7000 people. Keeping the CCFP functioning requires the procurement, pick up, loading in, sorting and stocking of an average of 45 tons of food per week. The CCFP picks up from two food banks, eleven different donating stores, two bread distributors, and several churches. The number of other donating sources is continuing to rise for the CCFP. Also, the CCFP is aided by approximately 120 volunteers per week which emphasizes the need within central Indiana as it takes many people to help the CCFP function properly. During a normal day, I would help the pantry in many different ways from moving pallets of food around, going on food pick up runs, unloading food deliveries, preparing the food for distribution, interacting with the patrons by checking them in or delivering carts of food to them, and breaking down old boxes.
Through this job I also had the opportunity to shadow Dr. Nace who cares for many of the patrons who use the CCFP as well as other members of the underserved population in Indianapolis at the Pecar Clinic. This was a special shadowing experience as I watched her connect with patients of all races, communicating with different languages, with both adults and children. Observing how every patient was visibly happy to see Dr. Nace when she entered the room emphasized the meaningful connections she had made with her patients. Her empathy and expertise had facilitated the creation of strong bonds with her patients and is something I hope to cultivate in my own life and future career. Through my time working for the CCFP, I further developed my understanding of global health as it relates to food and nutrition. Food can literally be medicine and the CCFP is proud to offer healthy options to its patrons. Many patients referred to the CCFP from Pecar see improved health profiles simply by eating the pantry’s food and being more mindful of what they consume.
I would like to thank Mr. Steve Claffey, Ms. Jill Rogers, and Dr. Eric Wetzel for the chance to work as an intern in the pantry. I would also like to thank Maggie Balek and Zach Fawbush and all the volunteers for creating an amazing work space.