Natalie Grant, Volunteer at New York Common Pantry

Natalie is a senior at Hunter College majoring in Public Health, shares her experience volunteering at New York Common Pantry. She has been actively involved in the CUNY Food Justice Fellowship and since her involvement, her enthusiasm for volunteering in the community has grown.


Q: How did you first hear about New York Common Pantry?
A: I first heard about the New York Common Pantry from my supervisor at the CUNY Food Justice Fellowship. After all the fellows had a meeting at the Met Council, they were able to recommend the NYCP for my passions.

Q: What do you enjoy most or what is your favorite thing about volunteering at NYCP?
A: My favorite thing about volunteering at NYCP is the atmosphere. I have not only created connections here but I’ve developed a routine that gives me a sense of security, where I am able to be my best self to help serve the community. People of all races, ages and genders help out, and by simply bonding over teamwork I’m able to learn a lot about their lives and receive advice about my own journey.

Q:  What motivates you to give back to the community at NYCP?
A: What motivates me to give back to the community at NYCP is seeing how much we help visually. Hearing numbers is one thing, but actually seeing the people you help and understanding how much of an impact we make is amazing. Anyone can be in the situations that our community members are in, and although we can’t solve all problems, we are able to lift some weight off their shoulders.

Q: How has volunteering at NYCP made an impact on you?
A: Volunteering at NYCP has made an impact on me because it has affected the way I view my prospective field of study. It has been such a meaningful experience to be involved with the community at such a hands-on level, and that’s something you can’t learn in the classroom. I want to continue to serve the community while strengthening my skills to help them better!

Q: What message would you share with someone who is considering volunteering?
A: It’s easier to start than you think, and even going 1 day for a few hours makes a difference. Plus it’s fun!