»

How the Bloomfield mobile food pantry is engaging youth in volunteerism

It’s no secret that “Generation Z” has a reputation. Larger even than the Baby Boomer generation, Gen Z was the first generation to have the internet at their full disposal from a young age, and this has had an effect on the way that older generations view them.

Nicknamed “the lazy generation”, generation Z in particular has taken flack on social media for ruining multiple things. Romance, the top sheet on a bed, along with conversational and social skills are said to have disappeared as Gen Z has gotten older. But small things like the Bloomfield Food Pantry are helping to combat this reputation.

For years, the Bloomfield Food Pantry, a community cupboard in the heart of Bloomfield has been connecting with FoodLink to host a mobile food pantry. On the second Friday of every month from May to October, volunteers from Bloomfield High School, St. Benedicts Parish and other surrounding areas and organizations come together to serve the community and those in need.

Amelia Poole, a 2018 graduate of Bloomfield has been involved with the Blessing Room for 2 years now. “I think volunteering is really important to help shape people into good humans. It shows them a different aspect of life, and it shows you that those who have more can help those in need, and it puts everyone in a happy place to help and be helped.” Headed to Keuka College to study early childhood education, Amelia is a big-hearted, patient girl with a passion for helping others. “I think it’s harder to get started volunteering because it isn’t as much of a priority for kids, but once we get started I think it’s hard to stop. It really motivates you to get out there and do more, and make sure those around you are happy, and you’re doing what you can to make the world a happier place.” Amelia points out that even in a small community like Bloomfield, it is still possible to make an impact on the world as a whole by spreading love and motivating others to share their joy.

Justin Lester, a Boy Scout working towards his Eagle Scout title, has been helping out with the mobile pantry for 4 years now. The Bloomfield High School student holds volunteering in high importance in his life, believing it to be something others should prioritize as well. “I love volunteering and helping other people. It’s one of my favorite things to do, you get to meet new people and help those in need. I don’t think it’s a lack of opportunities that cause our generation to be less involved, I just think most kids choose to do other things instead of coming out and volunteering.” For the May mobile food pantry, Justin brought his whole JV baseball team from Bloomfield to help out with the event. “When I explained it to my coach, he really wanted to get the team involved, he’s really into community service. I think a lot of the boys loved it and some definitely wanted to come back and volunteer again.”

 

This video from one of the mobile pantry dates last fall shows Madi Heacock and Vicki Bober demonstrating how the pantry works, and how the shoppers would follow the line. The volunteers have it down to a science, the process working like a well-oiled machine after years of practice.

Local organizations like the Bloomfield mobile pantry and the Blessing Room are found all over the place, and there are endless opportunities to get involved in small communities and larger ones. Helping others is the path to a more loving world, and eventually, a tomorrow where divides between different demographics are insignificant, and we look to each other not with labels, but simply as a human race.

For more information, dates, and opportunities to help out, check out the Bloomfield Blessing Room on Facebook here

FL1 Reporter Addilys Geitner is an intern from Nazareth College in Rochester. The junior has roots in Bloomfield, but is reporting on stories throughout the Western Finger Lakes. Follow Addilys on Twitter @AddilysGeitner, or email addi@fingerlakes1.com

 

Also on FingerLakes1.com