On September 20th, the 7th grade volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank and participated in a Hunger 101 simulation. As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, the need for the SF-Marin Food Bank has grown in recent years. On a weekly basis 30,000 families are fed from the SF-Marin Food bank through 450 Bay Area community partners.
Before volunteering, Hamlin students took a brief tour of the warehouse and learned about the mission and overall operation of the SF-Marin Food Bank. The girls then got to work with 100 pound bags of rice. In teams of six, they weighed out one pound bags of rice on digital scales, heat sealed them, and put the bags in boxes for distribution. The girls worked for about 2 hours and packed more than 3400 pounds of rice! The teams were in fierce competition to see not only how many bags and boxes they could pack, but also how accurate they could be in their measurements.
In the afternoon students participated in Hunger 101. Each student was given a composite sketch based on real people living in San Francisco. The profiles contained details about income, utilities, rent, and other specific information. Hamlin students then used the data to calculate how much daily money they were able to spend on groceries to feed their families or themselves (if their profile person lived alone). In most cases their characters had less than five dollars a day for food. Students were also able to apply for food stamps using a real five-page government issued form. Additionally, some girls elected to supplement their food supply by eating one meal at a soup kitchen. During the debrief, girls expressed their frustration at not having enough money to get by.
Below, Amanda shares what she liked about working at the SF-Marin Food Bank:
Special thanks to the staff of SF Marin Food Bank, and Hamlin teachers, Karl Yorston, Andy Taylor-Fabe, Melissa Alfred, Carli Garcia, and Katie Burkhalter who all helped make this visit possible.
To learn more about the SF Marin Food Bank, please visit: http://www.sfmfoodbank.org