Adil Khan just finished his junior year at Duke University. He is spending his summer working with the Hunger Response Network team and getting to explore Seattle for the first time.
"By this weekend, we have spent a full two weeks in Seattle, so I have begun to get acclimated to the daily routine of going to Northwest Harvest (NWH) each day and working on my project. But I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the absolute size of the non-profit I’m working for.
Prior to coming to Seattle, my perception of most non-profit activism groups was that they were small organizations that worked to make a difference on a small scale. But when we met with NWH’s CEO, she really laid out the magnitude of the company and their efforts. I learned that they distribute about 30 million pounds of food. The 50 million dollar company works with about 10,000 volunteers to distribute all of this across the state.
Later on, through working on my project, I began to get acquainted with the network of over 300 food banks and meal programs (called “partner programs”). With such a large network, NWH seems like it has a large capacity to address the problem of hunger across the state.
This really got me thinking about what role non-profits can have in our society. I mean, if Northwest Harvest has such a major impact, what other non-profits across the country do I underestimate? How different would the world we live in today be if such organizations weren’t around? What if we had more?
I have lived comfortably for most of my life, having parents who were able to provide for my needs, living in places where any aspect of who I am isn’t questioned, and always being in good enough health. So I have never needed to seek the aid of non-profit groups like NWH. So I can really only imagine the answers to these questions. And I can only imagine what someone who does seek this sort of help thinks.
However, this summer I’m going to be working right above a food bank every day, working to understand the work that all 300 of NWH’s partner programs. So in this process I know I will be getting closer to finding answers, and knowing more about the world we live in."
Be sure to check back for more updates on the interns experiences in Seattle!