IIN Advocacy Update: Providing Healthy Food for Families in Need
All images in this blog post courtesy of Pinnacle | Creative Visual Strategies: www.pinnaclephoto.com
With ongoing uncertainty in the world, it’s important to remember how small acts of kindness can provide great comfort.
Earlier this month, IIN Health Coach Day scholarship winner (and former professional football player) Claude Harriott and IIN director of advocacy Darrell Rogers helped distribute hundreds of bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need at Eastern High School in Washington, D.C. Claude’s commitment to community health and empowerment were some of the reasons he was selected as an IIN scholarship winner.
Planning a food drive in the middle of a pandemic
Planning a food drive typically requires organizing, fundraising, securing a location, and informing community organizations about the event. In the middle of a pandemic, we had to add the extra layer of requiring masks and gloves and ensuring proper social distancing.
Fortunately, Claude is known for taking on challenging tasks with compassion that motivates those around him.
Communities coming together to make a difference
The line of cars waiting for us to open the food drive was wrapped around a city block. It was a stark reminder of how food insecurity impacts so many people. The small army of volunteers, including high school students fulfilling community service requirements, friends and family, teachers, coaches, and former athletes, emptied 500 boxes of produce. They filled bags with speed and smiles while distributing the food to the people in line. It was great to see such fresh, healthy food being packaged and provided to those in need.
Personally, after many months of COVID isolation, it was great to be outside on a beautiful day, loading people’s cars and pushcarts with my family and new friends. Throughout the day, I was reminded of the importance of communities coming together to work toward a common goal and of how heartwarming a stranger’s kindness can be.
During a time of division, it was nice to remember the great work people are doing to help others. My family and I found the day fulfilling and aim to organize even more events to help others. I encourage you all to seek out opportunities to help your fellow neighbors and community members, now and beyond the pandemic. Lend a hand or build something new – you will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing you’re spreading the ripple effect of health and happiness.
We know how valuable Health Coaches can be in the healthcare system to help bridge the gap between doctors and patients and provide the support and resources patients need to reach their health goals. IIN is committed to the success of every graduate making a difference in their communities, and this advocacy work aims to further support our graduates in all that they do.
Darrell Rogers began his career in Washington, D.C., 20 years ago and has worked for members of Congress and several notable nonprofit organizations and political campaigns. More recently, his work has been committed to protecting and promoting holistic healthcare access. Every month, we’re sharing the notable work that Darrell is doing in Washington, D.C., to increase the visibility and recognition of Health Coaches.