Local Food Hub is seeking qualified candidates for the 2018 Food Access Fellow position. Our 2017 Fellow, Nathan, wrote a moving letter about his experience in the role, below.
Dear 2018 Food Access Fellow,
I hope you will draw from my experience to put your own stamp on Local Food Hub’s 2018 food access programming! It will be worth every ounce of effort you put into it – to you and the entire community. My name is Nathan Wells, and I served as the 2017 Food Access Fellow at Local Food Hub in Charlottesville, VA. When I got the call offering me the inaugural Food Access Fellow position, I had to put down the phone for a second so I didn’t deafen my future boss with my shout of excitement.
Every single week, we did the good work of making a more equitable food system in Central Virginia. Over the course of the season, we packed nearly 4,000 shares of fruits and vegetables from local farmers, bought at fair prices. I made over 100 delivery stops, driving hundreds of miles around Charlottesville, and I must have entered thousands of boxes of green peppers into inventory! All the hard work was worth it to hear an elderly woman recount that she’s no longer insulin-resistant, and is meeting her wellness goals; or have a mother of four write about her young son enjoying broccoli for the first time, and helping her read and cook the program recipes. Local Food Hub’s food access programming is touching their lives in a very real way, and I was in the driver’s seat.
I invested a lot into the decision to join Local Food Hub, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. My excitement initially came from my passion for food justice, but it was sustained over the entire season by the support of my co-workers and the tangible difference we were making in the lives of locals, both consumers and farmers. I am still impressed and inspired at the commitment of the staff at Local Food Hub: Every day, my coworkers stepped up to source the best assortment of farm food, to assist in share pack out, and to load the delivery truck – sometimes showing up before dawn to ensure that I would be on my way in a timely fashion! Still, the work environment was usually relaxed, lightened with laughter, music, and the antics of the office dogs.
Good food is one of the cornerstones of life, friendship, and community. Last summer, it was my privilege to help people build a solid foundation that would nourish body and soul. This fellowship was much more than a job, much more than a learning experience. When I look back on 2017, I am filled with the pride of a job well done, a humility grown from the knowledge of how far we have yet to go, and the confidence that my time as the Fellow gave me the tools to succeed in the good food movement.
Nathan Wells, 2017 Food Access Fellow
Love what you read? Want to join us in our effort to strengthen the local food system? The Food Access Fellow position is a seasonal, part-time position, running April 16-November 16. Learn more and apply here.