Feed The Masses

A Peacemaking Project by Latrell S.

What is the injustice we are solving?

The feed the masses project will focus on feeding hungry people in Baltimore City. There is a large food insecure population in Baltimore and we want to be the ones to eradicate hunger in our great city.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Hunger in Baltimore City
we will address Lack of access to food
by Handing out mobile food/snack packs at stop lights to those who ask for food

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • To distribute 100 mobile food packs to homeless or hungry people in Baltimore.
  • To ensure the people that we encounter are sustained until they get to their next meal.

We will increase my / our compassion by...

We will increase our compassion by consistently interacting with the homeless/hungry population.

How will you show courage?

We will show courage by handing out our mobile food packs no matter the time of day or neighborhood.

How will you collaborate with others?

We will invite members of our church to participate in the distribution of the mobile food packs.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We will solicit feedback from the client on how they think the mobile food pack will benefit them in their immediate future.

Key Steps

  • Meet with the team and other volunteers
  • Purchasing food and packaging
  • Create the mobile food packs
  • Schedule a day to distribute the mobile food packs
  • Have five teams drive throughout the distribution day to hand out atleast 20 packs each.

Reflection:

How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

We gathered hunger stats to share with volunteers to give them a deeper perspective before they served. We uncovered the fact that hunger and homelessness are adverse effects of growing up in an impoversihed neighborhood, lack of jobs, lack of affordable housing and growing up in foster care, amongst other social injustices.

How did your community change as a result of your project?

Our project changed my community in the following manner. We increased the sense of fellowship by conversing with our clients, asking what their future desires are and encouraging them with hope. And so the clients that we serve are now more hopeful as we did hand out a list of local resources for them to access and because we made it clear that we will be holding these feedings twice monthly going forward. They know that they can count on us to continue to be there serving them as well as helping them to get connected to needed resources.

How many people were impacted by your project?

327

Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?

We note how many packs we had on hand. We kept track of the number of mobile food packs that we handed out. We had two stationary handout events and we handed out MFPs as we drove around the city.

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

Our organization compiled a 12 question survey and collected info in that manner. This allowed us to learn the demographics of those we service. We did also have release forms attached to the survey questionaires.

What did your team learn?

We learned that in addition to food our clients nedd the following items is toiletries, water and socks. Some of the information that we learned about our clients is that they have been living on the street for an ave of 5ys, 80% of them grew up in an impoverished neighborhood, 75% of them were a part of the child welfare system and 50% of them do not have a good relationship with family. We learn that the need is great and there is room for us to continue this gret work.

What challenges did your team overcome?

One of the challenges that we faced, was that we were no longer able to feed at our initial feeding location (Park). Those who oversee the location, organized and set dates and times that you are allowed to feed. We were not able to secure a primary slot at that park. We put our heads together and decided to feed in two different ways. 1. We picked a location within the usual 1 mile travel radius of our clients. 2. We drove around the city and distributed the mobile food packs to those in need. It is important to forge forward with and be creative to continue the work when faced with adversity.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

We have been able to get the following organizations involved, 2 local churches, Park West Medical center and a professor and her team of students from Morgan State university. I was able to gain this support by attending community meetings, attending public meetings at the state house. We reaching out to many people and asked that they display compassion by helping us serve those in need. We held meetings with volunteers to brainsorm about our feeding location, # of volunteers, and posible donors.

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

My advice would be to consider what the outcomes of your project would be. Speak with and bring in people who have done it before and/or subject matter experts in your projects area. It is important to create a talk track about why you want to complete the project and begin to share it compassionately with those who you believe can help you along the way. Stay high energy, encourage your volunteers and do the work with purpose and joy.

Our Updates:

Mobile Food Packs in Action

Latrell S. 19 May 2018 21:52 We have shared the mobile food pack as well as love with the hungry people of downtown Baltimore City.  This is such rewarding work.  The people ae so grateful and happy to recieve sustainable food that will get then to their next meal.  We plan on dispersing more mobile food packs this week in the northwest section of the city.  #EveryoneEats #No4Walls #CompleteTheMission

Comments:

Clare W.
1 August 2018 16:34

Hi Latrell!

I'm Clare—a member of the Peace First team, and I wanted to let you know how inspired I am by your project's impact in taking action against homelessness and hunger in your community. You really committed to learning about the demographics you serve and the root causes behind these injustices, while bringing hope to many. I think you would have a lot of great advice to share with other young leaders about how to carry out similar projects. I hope that you'll submit an application to tell your story at the first-ever Peace First Summit on 9/16!

Applications are due tonight, August 1—you should have more information in your email inbox. Here's the application link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6X9fTrSTC6PoXjLpVUtNlJgZHbd5QdB6-hgxlC-d7DBlK_g/viewform Please let me know if you have any questions—I hope you'll apply!

Warmly,
Clare

Kelsey T.
2 March 2018 18:22

Hi Latrell! I’m part of the Peace First team-- It is great to have you as part of the community and I'm excited to read about your project -- thanks for posting it! Food insecurity is such an important issue!!

I wanted to provide you with Feedback for your Compassionate Insight. We provide insight feedback to help teams further strengthen their ideas to come up with the best possible solution. We also consider insights as part of the mini-grant application, so you are welcome to use this feedback to make some changes before we process your application.

I love that your project is so well grounded in compassion and ensuring that everyone has access to food in Baltimore. While handing out food snacks to individuals who need it is a wonderful way to show compassion and help those in need, I'd encourage you to also spend some time thinking a bit more about WHY people don't have access to food already and consider some of the root causes in order to help create a more sustainable solution! A peacemaking project requires really diving into the root causes and trying to understand why an injustice persists.

One thing that can help deepen your understanding of this issue is interviewing people who don't have healthy food, people who cause this injustice (who create the situation where people don't have healthy food), and people who are already working to end this injustice. I'd encourage you to check out our "Understand" tools to help with this:
https://www.peacefirst.org/peacemaking-tools

Here are some orgs that are working on food justice: https://foodforward.org/2016/04/what-is-food-justice/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0vmDrc2Z2QIVhq_ICh2IAgM3EAAYASAAEgIMRvD_BwE
https://civileats.com/category/food-and-policy/food-justice/
http://justfood.org/advocacy/what-is-food-justice
http://thefoodproject.org/about
http://thefoodtrust.org/uploads/media_items/access-to-healthy-food.original.pdf

It can also help to do some reading on your own--here are a few resources I found useful:
https://www.healthlibrary.com/book15_chapter156.htm
https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/health-fitness/many-americans-dont-access-healthy-food-massive-problem/
https://www.colorlines.com/articles/why-more-americans-cant-access-healthy-food
https://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/food-agriculture/solutions/expand-healthy-food-access#.Wn35zJM-fBI
https://grist.org/food/food-access-is-a-big-problem-for-many-native-nations-heres-how-one-community-is-fighting-back/
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/don-hinklebrown/access-to-healthy-food_b_4822735.html
https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/16/health/healthy-foods-confusion-study/index.html

Excited to see how your project evolves -- keep up the incredible work and let us know how we can help!

Adrian B.
6 April 2018 13:33

Hi Latrell,

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths: This is a great project! I love how you are soliciting feedback from houseless clients about your work, and how you're focused on providing food to people who are specifically asking for that kind of help. I agree that you are showing strong compassion by focusing on houseless people as clients/consumers of this care and asking for their ideas about how to best support them.

Things to Consider: You accidentally forgot to put the total amount in your budget--I added it up and it all comes to $250, but make sure you put information like this in any future applications. :) Also, I encourage you to think about Kelsey's suggestion to go deeply into the root causes of why this is happening. Finally, I'm curious about how you can support houseless people with allergies (I'm thinking specifically about anaphylactic peanut allergies--protein is so important, and how can you keep folks safe?). Looking forward to hearing more, and learning about how your houseless clients respond. Keep up the phenomenal work!

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!

Best,
Adrian

Latrell S.
29 May 2018 12:09

Kelsey T, We did get some good info from a couple of the food justice organizations. We have even been motivated to start our own survey amongst our clients, which will help us to compile the exact demographics of those whom we serve.

Kelsey T.
5 June 2018 9:25

Hi Latrell! That's fabulous to hear you've been able to connect with other folks working on food justice -- and that you are being so intentional about deepening your learning through surveys!

Fish S.
7 June 2018 0:23

Hi Latrell!

Congratulations on finishing your peacemaking project! I’m on the Peace First team and wanted to say thank you for your amazing work and for taking time to share about your work.

Below you will find some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future:

Latrell, I want to start out by saying thank you for the work you do - and the person you are. I can tell from what you've written that serving others is important to you - thank you for having the courage to live your values powerfully and do so much good for so many.

I also want to commend you on the success of your work - not just the breadth of your service, but the deep and thoughtful way in which you've build understanding of issues and laid the groundwork for future success. Your idea to gather data from folks is great -- and seems like it's led to a lot of helpful insights about what they need and the structural injustices they encounter. (I particularly like your thoughts on training volunteers to address root issues - ACEs, urban farming, etc.) And your idea to open a food pantry is powerful as well.

I hope you'll share your full survey data - and consider writing a story about what you've learned regarding the underlying causes of hunger and homelessness. A lot of young people on this site want to make a difference on this issue, and your information could help them develop a better understanding.

As you continue to build and grow Feed the Masses - we want to be here for you. We believe that you will continue to do incredible work for Baltimore, and we want to support you as you do it! Let us know how we can help you as you brainstorm and plan your next steps.

We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change!

Fish