The food pantry at Ruth’s Place, House of Hope can be found in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania or online at www.ruthsplace.org. The pantry is easily accessible by public transport, telephoning, or writing the director at her email. As the building that houses the food pantry is the home of a shelter for women experiencing homelessness, the pantry is open daily, around the clock. The pantry is open to all who are in need and demostrate need by meeting basic criteria and uses nutritional education to enhance users overall qusality of life.
The pantry is affiliated with the Weinberg Regional Food Bank, which serves as their coordiantor and distrubuter. Through the Weinburg Regional Food Bank the program at Ruth’s Place is allfiated with the Commission on Economic Opportunity, and exists as a subsidiary of Feeding America and the Pennsylvania Association of Regional Food Banks (Commission on Economic Opportunity [CEO], 2014). As such, there are two mission statements that govern the pantry operations at Ruth’s Place.
In the first instance, they uphold the Weinberg Regional Food Bank mission of eradicating hunger by providing resources to agencies so as to increase public awareness and provide training in nutrition (CEO, 2014). The second mission statement that governs the food bank is Ruth’s Place’s own mission statement. According to their website, Ruth’s Place is committed to whole person approach in serving their clientele, addressing not only physical needs, but emotional, financial, health and spiritual needs in such a way that empowers residents to make meaningful long term choices (2014).
She met with me on Tuesday, February 25th, at 6:15 p.m. As the director of the shelter, she oversees the pantry and educated me as to the processes by which the pantry is governed. She took the time to highlight her varied educational background. She began training as a social worker through an internship at community college, and eventually took on the profession full time while working on her degree in Human Services.
I elected to study the food pantry at Ruth’s Place because I believe that nutritional assistance and education is an important component of the health and wellness that we as helping professionals should seek to advocate for in the lives of clients. Sadly, it is something that is often neglected. A healthy diet underscores so much of wellness in ways that supports meeting other goals and working through trauma. As I came to find out through this experience, hunger and food insecurity are factors that impact every aspect of a person’s life, and are especially important to mitiagate during times of crisis. An understanding of how to help people overcome food insecurity should be integral to a helper’s understanding of a person’s potental resources. It was, therefore, a positive experience because I was able to integrate theories from research and connect with people through food at Ruth’s Place. I was further able to build on...