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What Interning in the Food Pantry Means to Chelse

When Chelse first heard about a paid internship with the Neighborhood House Food Pantry through SummerWorks, she felt like it would be the perfect fit. Now a mother and student at Portland Community College, Chelse had experienced food insecurity herself when she was younger and wanted to give back.

Chelse has been working part-time at the Food Pantry for the last six weeks. She spends her time stocking shelves, preparing food boxes for delivery, and helping clients “shop” the Pantry – her favorite part of the internship.

“Working with the clients and taking them through the Pantry is the most rewarding part,” she said, “I feel like my work is really making a difference.”

Just last week, a man came in in need of hygiene supplies. Food stamps and other benefits do not always cover the cost of hygiene supplies, diapers, and feminie hygiene products, so these are essential items in the Pantry. Chelse was able to give him a little extra thanks to some recent donations. The next day, the man returned with a bouquet of flowers as a thank you. He told her, “You made my day.”

“Working in the Pantry is a great opportunity for people who want to make an impact on peoples’ lives,” Chelse said of her experience.

She is eager to continue her internship while she pursues her degree at PCC.

Interested in volunteering at the Food Pantry? Click here!