Leadership and service are all a part of the experience at Campus Kitchen
Jazmine Newsom is currently a volunteer at the Campus Kitchen that coordinates and supervises some of its activities. Her exuberant personality and motherly touch towards everyone is truly heartwarming and purely awesome.
Newsom is a senior majoring in Social Work and Urban and Religious Studies. “I volunteer because I believe that it takes one individual to show someone acts of kindness by helping them, but it takes a community to uplift and push that individual to be the best they can be in order to be successful,” said Newsom. Newsom says that the first time she volunteered when was she was 8, serving meals to the homeless.
Although Newsom does not have any role models she looks up to, she says that her motivation to volunteer comes from knowing that she has made a difference, no matter how minimal and whatever the circumstance that the person is going through at the time.
Newsom became acquainted with the Campus Kitchen about a year ago as an intern and she is currently the shift manager for Meal Packaging and Planning.
“Currently, my duties are to assist with packaging meals and with student driven hunger relief efforts. I also implement, processes food in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health Regulations and train new volunteers on the roles they will have on their first shift,” said Newsom.
Newsom goes on to say, “My first time working with Campus Kitchen was very challenging because when working in a kitchen you have to make sure all food health procedures are followed and not overlooked. Another reason why it was challenging was because my boss allowed me to be very open to the projects I wanted to create and with freedom comes responsibility. I also did all the monthly reports for Campus Kitchen which was something I was not use to doing.”
Newsom has been with the Campus Kitchen for about a year and a half now and says one of the benefits is empowering minds by providing leadership and service learning opportunities to people of all ages. She also says the Campus Kitchen builds communities by creating networks and building partnerships among students, social services, restaurant donors, and throughout the community.
Newsom also shares some of the challenges the Campus Kitchen faces, one of them being the insufficient amount of food supply. One other major problem that the Campus Kitchen faced last year was the scarcity of vehicles that volunteers could use to deliver food to various clients. The clients that the Campus Kitchen provide meals to view it as a reliable and great resource to reduce rural hunger.
Newsom says that in spite of volunteering being rewarding it can be quite a handful at times, with planning, organizing and conducting activities volunteer work is really no joke. One of Newsom’s aspirations in life is to create her own non-profit community center in Ghana, West Africa; with the main emphasis on her work being creating meals and passing them out the throughout the villages with less fortunate people.
In summary Newsom says that one of the quotes that really motivates her is by Leo Buscaglia; too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.