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New Volunteer Opportunities!

11 Dec
2013

UPDATE: THESE OPPORTUNITIES HAVE PASSED

Winter 2013: As the holidays approach and people get into the giving spirit, I’ll be posting new volunteer opportunities that pop up around NYC. Feel free to share these with friends and family who might be interested in helping out a local non-profit, whether it’s just for a day or for a few months!

 

Holiday Help at the Food Bank for NYC

Food Bank procures and distributes food to a network of more than 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, helping to provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. From Meals on Heels on the Upper West to Souper Saturdays in Park Slope, there are tons of ways to help out the Food Bank  this holiday season. Sign up here: http://volunteer.foodbanknyc.org/holidays

 

Mulchfest 2014 with NYRP: Saturday, January 11, 12:00pm–2:00pm

Every year Mulchfest diverts thousands of Christmas trees from landfills and recycles them into wood chips that can be used to protect and nourish trees in our parks, gardens and street tree pits. Help spread fresh Christmas tree chippings to street trees and work on various winter maintenance projects in the Sherman Creek Park.

To register to volunteer or to get more information e-mail volunteer@nyrp.org.

 

Helpline Volunteer/Intern with the National Eating Disorders Association (Long-Term)

Position Summary: Information and Referral Helpline interns will offer information and referrals to callers and answer basic questions regarding body image and eating disorders in a caring and compassionate manner. The intern will be continually challenged to accept continuing advancement in responsibilities on the Helpline as the intern becomes ready. The Helpline intern may also assist with other duties in the National Eating Disorders Association office as needed (i.e. writing letters, assisting with information distribution, etc.). This position is a great learning opportunity and involves a minimum of 15 hours of training.

Primary Responsibilities:

  •   Information and Referral Services

·        Provide positive, respectful and timely responses regarding eating disorder information requests via incoming phone calls, voicemail messages, emails, forums, instant messages, and social media sites under Helpline responsibility.

·        Ensure the distribution of Helpline information and referral material in a timely manner that fits the needs of the individual and is presented in a professional manner.

·        Compose general letters of response for information requests.

·        Develop skills related to database management.

·        Increase knowledge and understanding concerning eating disorders and how to appropriately support those affected by them.

·        When deemed appropriate by Helpline Supervisor, the intern may assist in the training of new Helpline volunteers and interns.

·        Contribute to the association’s mission of eliminating eating disorders and body dissatisfaction.

  • Program and Administrative Duties:

·        Assist Programs Department staff with ongoing educational and outreach projects.

·        Assist with minor administrative tasks as needed.

Required Qualifications:

·        High energy, positive attitude, and enthusiasm.

·        Meticulous attention to detail and strong organizational skills.

·        Excellent communication skills and demonstrated ability to provide quality customer service.

·        Strong computer skills, data and word-processing ability.

·        Must be dependable and self-motivated.

·        Able to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team.

·        Must be able to work in New York office.

Time Frame and Commitment:

·        Completion of 15-20 hour Helpline training taking place during the intern’s scheduled shift.

·        Minimum of 8 hours per week for a minimum of 4 months

·        Participation in one activity taking place outside of the main office.

·        Monthly reflections to be submitted and reviewed with Helpline Supervisor to set continuing advancement objectives.

·        Must be able to work at the NEDA headquarters, in New York City, during Helpline hours.

Contact Erin Brekke, Volunteer Coordinator at ebrekke@nationaleatingdisorders.org to apply.

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Dine Out for a Cause: Bread & Life’s “Feed the Need”

24 Oct

2014 UPDATE: THIS OPPORTUNITY HAS PASSED

Feed the Need: Dine Out for Bread and Life! is a dine out event that will take place on Thursday, October 24, 2013.  The event will benefit St. John’s Bread and Life, Brooklyn’s largest provider of emergency food.  100% of the funds raised will be used to purchase food for our hungry neighbors! This also happens to be National Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

1 in 5 adult New Yorkers – and 1 in 4 children — relies on food pantries and soup kitchens to meet their food needs. To respond to this need, Bread and Life needs the help of the entire food community.   Bread and Life serves more than 1,000,000 meals annually to our Brooklyn and Queens neighbors who would otherwise go hungry. We are asking restaurants, food purveyors, patrons and the entire food community to join us in combatting hunger in our neighborhoods! 

Be part of the solution and support a great local cause!

 

Participating Restaurants:

                  

    

    

 

 

About Bread and Life: Bread & Life is a 501c3 organization whose mission it is to feed those most vulnerable. This program began 31 years ago in direct response to the cuts in the federal budget for food aid, cuts which forced tens of thousands of New Yorkers to find a new way of providing meals for their families. Before these cuts, there were just sixteen emergency food agencies in New York City. After the cuts they mushroomed to more than 1,600.

Sunday Night Soul

5 Sep

EXPVOL

2013

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Midtown, you’ve heard of SoulCycle: the extremely intense yet gratifying workout that features energy-infused music sets, inspiring instructors, and a whole lot of peddling. Whether you’re already a SoulCycle fanatic or looking to finally get on a bike and see what all the fuss it about, this is the perfect opportunity for you:  Join me on September 15th at a charity ride to benefit God’s Love We Deliver.

Friends and supporters of God’s Love We Deliver will get together for 45 minutes of fun, love and sweat! Hosted by God’s Love at SoulCycle in SoHo, 100% of the event proceeds will benefit the God’s Love We Deliver Expansion Campaign!

And that’s not all: Miss USA Erin Brady and Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf will be joining in the evening’s bike ride so buy a bike and you can ride alongside them!

Bikes can be reserved at a number of tiered levels and there’s only 53 available, so grab yours before they’re all gone. Tickets can be purchased on the GLWD website.

For any questions or concerns regarding Sunday Night Soul for God’s Love, please contact Nick at 917-280-5778 or McKenzie at 202-679-5544.

logoGod’s Love We Deliver is the tri-state area’s leading provider of nutritious, individually-tailored meals to people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. 

God’s Love We Deliver is a non-sectarian organization, providing meals with the strong belief of “food as medicine.”  To that end, we employ a team of registered dietitians who individually tailor meals to each client’s specific medical requirements.  God’s Love provides all services by employing a small but dedicated professional staff and with the critical assistance of nearly 8,000 volunteers annually.

Save The Date: Pantry Party on August 1st

15 Jul
2013

Save the date for Give & Get NYC’s upcoming Pantry Party to benefit the West Side Campaign Against Hunger!

PantryPartyFlyer2013On August 1st, head uptown to Prohibition at 503 Columbus Avenue (between 84th and 85th) at 6:30pm. Anyone who brings food donations with them to help fill the WSCAH Pantry will receive drink specials until 9pm.

Through a supermarket-style food pantry, the WSCAH alleviates hunger and creates a culture of self-reliance by providing food with dignity. They also provide wellness and cooking programs, in addition to counseling, to ensure all avenues of support are being explored and provided to clients. Located on West 86th Street, they serve low-income residents from all 5 boroughs regardless of household size or immigration status.

CLICK HERE TO RSVP NOW!

If you’re unable to attend and would like to donate, you can do so by clicking here. Until then, start shopping for these much-needed, healthy pantry items:

  • Dried beans
  • Canned beans, low sodium
  • Brown or white rice
  • Pasta, especially whole grain
  • Hot cereal
    • Oatmeal
    • Cream of wheat
    • Grits
  • Cold cereal
    • Bran flakes
    • Cheerios
    • Other low-sugar, high-fiber options
  • Crackers, low sodium, high-fiber
  • Bread, 100% whole wheat
  • Canned fruit, packed in juice or water
  • Applesauce, no sugar added
  • Dried fruit, no sugar addedLogo big
  • Canned vegetables, low sodium
  • Spaghetti sauce, low sodium
  • Salsa, low sodium
  • Canned chicken, low sodium in water
  • Canned fish, packed in water
    • Tuna
    • Salmon
    • Mackerel
    • Sardines
  • Milk, boxed or shelf stable, low fat
  • Milk, powdered, low fat
  • Milk, evaporated, low fat
  • Bottled water and other low-sugar beverages
  • Tea and coffee
  • Toiletries

DO: Give generously. Give foods you would serve to your family.

DON’T: Give anything expired, open, or damaged. Give something you wouldn’t eat.

Finishing up the SNAP Challenge: Days 5,6,7

25 Jun
2013

As I write this, my stomach is full of Indian take-out and chocolate. My first day off the SNAP Challenge and I’ve already spent about $25 on food in one day, compared to last week when I spent just as much for five days. Did I learn anything from this experience? 100% yes. Have I touched a dish today or set foot in the kitchen? Absolutely not.

Let’s backtrack a little to Day 5: Friday. By this point I was tired of being in the kitchen, and my usual fervor for making every meal special was waning. I boiled some pasta and tossed it with the last of my red sauce from earlier in the week, and to top it off, I added some corn. Yes, corn. I have no idea why.

The morning of Day 6, the corn pasta made a repeat appearance as my breakfast. For lunch I packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich which I ate at an outdoor cafe, as Paul had a blue cheese burger. Speaking of Paul, did I mention he is no longer doing the Challenge at this point? He tapped out on Day 3 due to a misunderstanding of the rules; if iced coffees weren’t allowed, he wanted out. But I digress.. On our way home from a walk in the park, I stopped at Western Beef to see what else I could buy with my remaining budget. I wound up leaving with two apples and a sweet potato and $0.21 left in my #SNAPChallenge wallet.

Inspired by Chef Cowan’s chorizo hash and disgusted by my previous dinner, I made a sweet potato hash with swiss chard, corn, and garlic scapes, topped with an egg. It was delicious and reinvigorated my determination for the last day, whereby I woke up and headed straight to the kitchen to make pancakes. Realizing I had no milk, I decided to power through and use water instead, resulting in the grossest-but-best-looking pancakes I’ve ever had.

These pancakes=gross.

These pancakes=gross but edible.

For lunch I had another peanut butter and jelly in the park, and an apple with peanut butter later in the day. By dinner on Day 7 I was out of everything except bread and pasta (and peanut butter and jelly, but I’d had my fill of peanut butter for the day), so I wound up eating spaghetti with butter, garlic powder, and basil grown in my apartment.Last dinner

 

 

So what did the SNAP Challenge teach me?

For one, having a limited budget for food is scary. This isn’t the same as saying “I’ll set aside $30 for food this week, and $30 for other necessities.” This is “I have $31.50, and once all my food is gone, it’s gone until my EBT card gets refilled.”

It’s also a pain in the ass. I spent more time cooking, and washing dishes and tupperware this week than I have in a long time. It’s not an impossible task, but it requires more effort and is likely undertaken by people with disabilities or the elderly, who make up a large percentage of SNAP recipients, in addition to low-income families with children to feed. In other words, people who legitimately have a harder time cooking and cleaning every day than I do.

Resources and Farm Bill Shpeel

My daily musings about nutritional shopping and cooking programs were quelled by some research: ESNY (Eat Smart New York! SNAP-Ed) is New York State’s SNAP nutrition education program. Cornell University Cooperative Extension delivers SNAP supported nutrition education in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. Here, eligible participants learn about MyPyramid/MyPlate, Menu Planning, Food Preparation, Nutrition, Fitness, Food Budgeting, Food Shopping, Food Safety, and Physical Activity. I’m unable to find the percentage of SNAP recipients who participate, but the program is available for participation, and that’s obviously a step in the right direction.

I also found some additional resources, including “Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables” which as the name implies, provides recipes and shopping tips for eating healthy veg & fruit snacks and meals. In addition, SNAP recipients can visit Snaptomarket.com and see which farmer’s markets in their area accept EBT/WIC.

The purpose of doing the SNAP Challenge was to raise awareness of the program itself, and the dangers it faced on the House floor, as Congress voted on it’s fate and potentially cutting $20 billion. It would’ve meant $3.9 billion dollars cut over the course of ten years, and 2 Million people losing their access to SNAP (As of March 2013, there were 48 Million people enrolled). The Farm Bill is a somewhat confusing piece of legislation that touches on a whole slew of issues, from agriculture to environmental and wildlife protection; it’s comprised mainly of SNAP funding (about 75%) in addition to farm policy, making it hard to decide on it’s fate without being able to view the two separately as individual bills. That said, here’s an interesting read on why it failed to pass, and why that’s a good thing that it did. For something a little easier on the eyes, here’s a neat infographic about the House cuts versus the Senate.

The House will have to get their partisan ‘ish together and create something that works before December. I  hope that the SNAP Challenge helped prove, at least a tiny bit, that every penny counts.