Name: Megan Splan

FFEN Role: 2022 Statewide Survey Intern

How did you learn about FFEN?

I first heard about FFEN through an email that was sent to me by my academic advisor at the University of Minnesota. The internship position was advertised in the email and I was very intrigued by what the position entailed.

How long have you been a part of the FFEN team?

This is actually my fifth week being a part of the FFEN team! I’ve gained so much in this past month that it almost feels like I’ve worked here longer.

What made you want to work at FFEN?

Working for a non-profit organization has always been something that I’ve been interested in pursuing. Prior to working for FFEN, I didn’t know anything about the inner workings of a non-profit and what a career looked like in this line of work. Also, food insecurity has also been something that I’ve always been passionate about, so finding an internship that mixes the two felt like a good fit for me.

What is your professional/academic experience (and background) and how does it relate to your role?

I am going into my senior year of college at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities where I am majoring in Urban Studies and minoring in Spanish. Many of the courses I am taking are related to Minnesota’s demographics and the urban issues Minneapolis is facing, such as food and housing insecurity. Through my role with FFEN I am able to see first hand how food shelves and other organizations are working to benefit the people that are affected by these issues. My work in the Statewide Survey also allows me to participate in improving these conditions for Minnesotans across the state.

What does your position look like at FFEN?

My position at FFEN consists of both behind the scenes work organizing and creating materials for the survey, as well as going to food shelves and implementing the survey with clients myself. I also collaborate with the FFEN team in order to ensure the best results come from our work! Getting to speak with food shelf managers and clients is a very rewarding experience, I am learning a lot!

What impact have you seen from your projects with FFEN, either within the organization or for a local food shelf?

Survey roll-out has yet to begin, but I got a first look into the impact of the survey through our pilot surveys. The clients I’ve interacted with have shown so much gratitude towards me, and other volunteers, for our interest in hearing their feedback and wanting to improve their food shelf experience. I look forward to the actual survey and how the responses we collect will impact food shelves in the near future.

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