Reflections from Emma Draisin, Leah’s Pantry High School Summer Intern 2016

Reflections from Emma Draisin, Leah’s Pantry High School Summer Intern 2016

Emma Draisin

Though brief, my time working with Leah’s pantry has been an eye-opening and valuable experience. Through assisting in nutrition and cooking workshops for children, I learned to see the privilege of having easy access to healthy food and nutrition education in my own life. With two family practitioners as parents, I have been blessed by having healthy eating habits ingrained in my behavior from a young age. While I was previously hazily aware of my luck, assisting at workshops with children who had no help at home in eating balanced meals was heartbreaking. I saw firsthand how even a single workshop can impact these young kids.

I also assisted Leah’s Pantry with their portion of the Homebridge training, an intensive program for home-care and supportive service providers that assist the elderly and disabled. Leah’s Pantry taught trainees food safety and nutrition basics, along with how to shop and cook healthy meals on a budget. The home-care trainees left with a new confidence in their care-taking abilities and the new understanding that food could be simple, tasty, and good for you.

When I was not at workshops, I was in the office uploading new recipes to and updating farmers’ market information. Though this work was not as hands-on as the workshops, I took joy in remembering the excitement and amazement of the adults at workshops when shown The website is truly unique and a wonderful resource for SRO residents or low-income Californians. I can see myself using it in the future; when I go to college I’m sure that limited kitchen recipes will be a life-saver for dorm living.

During my time at Leah’s Pantry, I was inspired and impressed with the skill, passion, and dedication of the amazing staff. The SF staff is truly a blessing – each person brings their own energy and diverse professional backgrounds into teaching, and their ability to impact and inspire all workshop participants is outstanding.

As a high school Junior, Leah’s Pantry has shown me the immense need for nutrition education, and as I look toward my own future, I know my time here will shape the path I chose. I hope to return to Leah’s Pantry in summers to come, because I believe in the mission and I have seen the impact of this organization in my community.