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Service learning has always been part of my life. Sometimes it’s obvious and in others, it isn’t. By that I mean some things I do and it can be considered an act of service unto others but to me it is normal. A lot of times I feel compelled to do something for people. As earlier mentioned on one of our discussion boards, I had planned to volunteer this semester in a homeless shelter before taking this class. I had no idea this class required service learning and it was a perfect plan when I found out. I was happy this worked out for me.

    My service learning location was the Maryland food bank located in Halethorpe, Maryland, about 15 minutes from the UMBC campus in Catonsville. I began on March 15 with an orientation. The Maryland food bank as we can tell by its name is a non-profit hunger relief organization serving as a leader fighting to end hunger. It provides and distributes free food to individuals and families in need across the Maryland area. According to, 42 million people face hunger in the U.S today. This includes nearly 13 million children and more than 5 million seniors. So, the Maryland food bank strives to reduce these numbers by fighting hunger.

 According to their supervisor, Thomas Higdon, they distribute about 112,000 meals per day and more than 41 million meals annually. They serve every country except for Montgomery and PG counties which are overseen by the gov’t. Volunteers are a vital part of the running of this whole organization. During orientation, myself and other volunteers were taken into the warehouse which had a lot going on; packing of food in bags, then into boxes, sorting canned foods etc. 

    On my first day, I worked on the belt which consisted of sorting canned foods of different categories. I specifically was responsible for sorting canned soups, veggies and any ready-to-eat meals. I had to put them in boxes, label them and put on appropriate section. Each box had to way 11.5 lbs. It was a fun experience for me because I was and still am happy to do it and because I know that I am making an impact on a lot of lives. Without volunteers, organizations like this won’t be able to get help to those in need and there will be a lot more people dying of hunger. I never or don’t dislike anything about my current experience at the Maryland Food Bank. The employees are very helpful and polite. They are available for any questions or concerns, volunteers have. They provided cold water on several occasions when it was a hot day. It boosts your mood to continue working even when one feels exhausted.     

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