Recently our Teen Service Council participated in their first event of the year. They joined together to learn about food insecurity. After contemplating costs and given limited funds, the teens then shopped for food to feed a family of 4. All food purchased during the program was then donated to the Community Crisis Center of Baltimore. The teens learned valuable lessons and gained new perspectives, all while helping the community. Some teens shared their thoughts about this rewarding program.
Lexi G. is 15 and a student at McDonogh School. She enjoys hanging out with friends, sports, exercising and art
Matthew G. is 14 and a student at Gerstell Academy. He enjoys golfing and cooking
Q: What made you get involved with TSL?
Lexi G.: My older brother was very involved with TSC and I was interested in the activities but was not old enough before. He would come home after an activity and share with the family all about it.
Matthew G.: I got involved with the Teen Service Council as a way to gain required community service hours for school. When my parent mentioned the program they had heard of from friends, we researched the upcoming events. The food insecurity program matched my interests and I decided it would be a good way to gain hours while learning about something that interests me.
Q: What did you learn by participating in the recent Food Insecurity Pop-Up event?
Lexi G.: I learned a lot from the event. First, I learned about some of the reasons that people develop food insecurity. Losing a job and becoming homeless are two such reasons. I also learned that food insecurity can lead to a poor diet and poor health. Supporting local food banks and raising awareness for the cause is very important.
Matthew G.: Through participating, I learned what food insecurity meant, and was challenged with a shopping scenario in which I was placed in a group to shop for a family living with only a microwave and refrigerator. We were given a $20.50 budget and had to pick out three meals for four people. After the hands-on activity, we learned about food insecurity in the community with the head of the Reisterstown Community Crisis Center. We were shown statistics regarding the impacts of coronavirus on food insecurity, how the crisis center gives back, and discussed the items we picked up shopping that would be donated to the crisis center.
Q: Why should someone do community service?
Lexi G.: Community service is very important because it allows for people to give back to their communities, and particularly to those less fortunate. It also helps people better understand different challenges that are present in their communities. It is very important to learn to be altruistic and selfless.
Matthew G.: Community service not only provides a learning experience, benefiting the knowledge you may already have in an area, but helps to provide for those in need. Volunteering makes a difference in others’ lives.
Q: If you could describe your experience about participating with one word, what would it be and why?
Lexi G.: Invaluable. It was invaluable to me because I learned a lot that I did not know about food insecurity and it really got me excited about participating in future events.
Matthew G.: The food insecurity event could be summarized with the word “insightful.” I was able to learn about food insecurity around the world, in the community, and applied that knowledge to a hands-on shopping activity
Q: How will you continue to give back and help the community?
Lexi G.: I will continue to give back by participating regularly in events that are available to me. I plan to be deeply involved in these activities and hope to take a leadership role in the future so that I can contribute even more meaningfully.
Matthew G.: I look forward to advancing with the Teen Service Council and participating in future events run by the group.
Looking for other teen programs, including ways to give back to the community? Please click here!