This weeks prompt was focused on what we wish the people of Winchendon knew. These ranged topics based on what our Changemakers worked on, but overall shared the theme of informing the community.
Something important that I wish our community knew was that there are food banks that supply our community and others surrounding. The Worcester County Food Bank is a large facility that allows surrounding food pantries to pick up food for their area. This was an interesting experience that I would love to do again because it was truly incredible to see the impact that this cooperation causes- in June 2022 it was “estimated that 19.8% of households with children are facing food insecurity” in Massachusetts. Knowing the number of food insecure people is an eye-opening experience that everyone should know. If we know and understand the world's issues, we can truly make a change within them.
Something that I wish the community knew is that we have a lot of corn to sell at the farm stand. Not even 50% of the corn has been sold.
This is my second week as a Root leader, and this week, I have discovered how to properly care for, and water plants as well as how to plant tomato plants. For tomato plants, you have to bury the stems deeper than how they were in the pot, and all the way up to the start of the first leaf. In addition to that, I have learned how to water plants long enough so that the topsoil and the humus layer of the soil are dampened, and not dusty and dried underneath. This week, I have drastically improved my finance skills, and how to keep track of the money and/or profit that is coming in and out of the farm stand and cafe. An important thing that I wish our community knew was that out of 100% of the students at Murdock High School, only 63% of those students voted on having a financial literacy class, which focuses on learning to budget, balancing, and checkbooks for a class in the High School.
Something I wished the community would know is how little things can make a big difference, even for one person. The other Root Leaders & I helped an older lady move from her upstairs apartment to her new first-floor
apartment. She didn’t have anyone else to help her move so we helped her out. She was very appreciative of our help. This lady lives in the Winchendon Housing Authority, which houses about 5% of people in all of Winchendon. I’m glad that we could help make this lady’s life easier.
This week some of us root leaders got to learn and see about the Winchendon housing community. This week I also got to work on interviewing people and I was taught how to. I then was able to test it on one of my co-workers. Also, more garden work was done at the beginning of the week, and getting to see the difference in the plants after a week was really cool. Overall this week taught us a lot and it was really good.
Something important that I wish people in Winchendon knew was that there is a program called SNAP/HIP, it’s free and it helps you AND the economy. HIP puts money back on your EBT card when you use SNAP to buy healthy, local fruits and vegetables from HIP farm vendors. Most farmer's markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and community-supported agriculture(CSA) farms share programs.1-2 people in a household get $40 in HIP, 3-5 persons get $60, and 6+ persons get $80+. Your monthly HIP cap starts over on the first of each month, regardless of when you get your SNAP benefits.