Members matter to both local and national organizations alike, and Community Food Initiatives (CFI) is no exception. We’re proud to share the stories of our community members, and why they choose to collaborate with CFI, over the next several months in our #MembersMatter2017 series!
Megan Almeida, CFI community member and summer service corps member (2016 and 2017), admires the work of CFI – especially the children-centered YEAH Kids! program. She feels that by investing in our children, we commit to a healthier community overall. Read more of Megan’s thoughts on “Why CFI?” in the interview below!
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This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity
CFI: What do you enjoy most about being a member of CFI?
MA: The people involved, how CFI reaches out to a bigger audience in our community. There is a kind of fairness that runs through the mentality of the organization, where everyone is equal and deserving of fresh, local, healthy food and access to it. I also appreciate and admire the programming that is offered, as well.
CFI: When did you first hear about CFI?
MA: I knew about CFI right away because I helped co-found a homeschooling cooperative called Red Bud Educational Co-op, and at the time the original CFI director (Ronda) was involved with the project. I was friends with her and worked side-by-side with her for children and education, so I knew CFI through her. The first thing I came to was a seed exchange in March to start gardens.
CFI: Why is the work of CFI important to you personally?
MA: I think the mission and the organization and how it has been pretty consistent over the years I find valuable about CFI. It’s important to me because living healthy is a life-style, and in order to be healthy we all need to be surrounded by that feeling. That state of mind should be contagious in order to become a healthy, thriving community – and that everyone has that same opportunity.
CFI: Do you think with CFI there is maybe a certain issue that the nonprofit is out there to address or a service that this business provides in the surrounding area?
MA: I like the fact that CFI supports children makes it unique. The YEAH Kids program – I really embrace that, and they are the perfect kid audience that we need to target and inspire and empower to try to think differently about healthy food.
The kids are a vital asset to our community and culture. If we don't embrace and protect and nurture our children like we should, we won’t develop a thriving community. CFI clearly supports that idea of our children being an important asset to our future.
CFI: Is there anything about CFI that you really like or have a passion for whether its one specific component, the people who work here, what CFI provides, or overall thing that you love the most?
MA: The people that work here are amazing. Mary Nally [Executive Director at CFI] pulls it off, so that's pretty impressive. For me, to look at women like Mary is empowering, and I think it is empowering for younger women to see what the possibilities are to lead.
Also, the people that come through here are fun and dedicated and do the best that they can.