“The biggest thing I learned was working with other people and how much people actually need food.”
During the week of June 14-25, 2021, high school students participated in VEAP’s first-ever two-week installment of the Future Light program. The students entering grades 9-12 spent 25 hours volunteering in the warehouse, fulfilling participants’ food orders, sorting donations and assisting with outdoor intake. The Future Light youth also participated in educational sessions, learning about non-profit work, poverty, food insecurity and housing insecurity.
In the closing day of the first program, students reflected on their biggest takeaways and ways they can bring about positive change in their community.
Many of the takeaways by these youth from during the educational sessions and volunteering included highlighting the systemic racism ingrained within housing and food insecurity, rooted in the redlining history of Minnesota:
“Minnesota is the most segregated in terms of housing.”
“Redlining caused segregation and its effects are still here in Minnesota today.”
Other students participating in the discussion focused on the problems rooted in poverty and housing and food insecurity:
“It’s much harder to pull out of homelessness compared to how easy it is to become homeless.”
“I learned about how easy it is to get into poverty and how hard it is to get out.”
Overall in their discussion, many Future Light students highlighted the impact that volunteers make and expressed their desire to continue to volunteer at VEAP and make a difference in participants’ lives.
VEAP looks forward to the upcoming Future Light sessions and witnessing the impact these students can bring to their community!