Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) provides community members with skills necessary to grow, harvest, prepare and enjoy their own garden through health and nutrition sessions. In an effort to combat many of the health ailments facing families in our community and promote food literacy, SFBFS also partners with agencies to distribute health and nutrition information such as managing diabetes, combating obesity and leading classes aimed at healthy eating, dieting and cooking.
Many programs at SFBFS are staffed by volunteers from our very own community. These volunteers bring their passions and skills to empower our clients. One such volunteer is 35 year old Adilah Guiseppi-Wilson.
Residing in Oak Park, Adilah lives nearby SFBFS’ Family Services campus and was intrigued by the Demonstration Garden behind the Education & Technology Center and wanted to learn more about the organization. She joined a volunteer orientation and quickly became familiar with all the different services SFBFS provides. “From the community garden, ESL classes, food distribution, clothing and nutrition education, I was so impressed with the all-encompassing mission of SFBFS to help those in need. It has been wonderful watching it expand to a second location and become the County’s main food bank.”
Adilah, a current Sacramento State student, is studying to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). She helps SFBFS’ Health & Nutrition team in a number of ways. “I assist with the preparation and setup of the Nutrition Education classes. I help bring supplies, prepare ingredients, set up the class, do cooking demonstrations, co-teach and answer questions. Encouraging healthy eating patterns through nutrition education benefits everyone’s long term health and self-sufficiency,” she explained.
The classes Adilah helps set-up and instruct reach close to a hundred participants each year throughout Sacramento County and are offered at both of SFBFS’ campus locations, as well as other agencies throughout Sacramento in a variety of languages. Often times, students complete a series of these classes and receive a certificate of completion. When a series ends, the students and instructor host a delicious celebration. “Potlucks at the end of our 5-series nutrition classes have been so rewarding. The students cook for each other and share the most wonderful dishes. Many of them incorporate lessons they have learned in class. I have tried many new dishes as a result” Adilah remarked.
Often times volunteers like Adilah, who build rapport with students, find they learn just as much in return. “Their motivation to improve themselves through nutrition education is inspiring and I am so proud to have helped them. They have been willing to share their unique perspectives and I have learned so much, from holiday meals in different cultures to the names of fruits in different languages. Our classes have also helped me with my Spanish. I am even more passionate about my career after these classes.”
Like many others, Adilah recognizes how essential volunteerism is to the community. “My family has encouraged me to volunteer since a young age. I’m passionate about making a difference in people’s lives, since often the smallest effort can make a large impact. A community is served one person at a time, so I always do my best to make everyone’s experience at SFBFS an excellent one.”