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Meet our Interns Megan and Esther!

Published: 21 July 2021, Wednesday

Meet our Interns Megan and Esther!

This article is co-authored by our current SMU interns Megan and Esther, who reflect on what it’s like to be part of the Food from the Heart team.


What are some things you have been working on?

M: One of the projects I’ve been working on is the Clean Plate Campaign, which is Food from the Heart’s initiative to reduce food waste. It also functions as a fundraiser, which makes it doubly meaningful! I had the opportunity to collaborate with universities and discussed how our campaign could spread further awareness in their schools. With stickers and post-its for primary schools supporting the campaign, knowing that these collaterals will make the students happy and motivate them to clean their plates warms my heart!

E: Megan and I are also involved in the review of the Bread Run programme. We are actively gathering feedback from our volunteer Bread Runners to continually improve. The aspects we’re looking at includes the presentation of bread when beneficiaries receive them, sourcing for more environmentally-friendly options to reduce our carbon footprint, and improving the phone application used by our Bread Runners . We are also working on our volunteer appreciation and engagement efforts. If not for our Bread Runners who work tirelessly, collecting and delivering surplus unsold bread late at night and early in the morning, we would not be able to serve the beneficiaries.


What was your biggest surprise?

M: During our time here, we had a callout for food donations. In the following few days and weeks, many donors came  down with in-kind and cash donations all because of the social media post. The warehouse was bustling and filled to the brim  with food items from top to bottom. I was especially heartened to know that there are so many kind-hearted and generous people around, cheering us on.

E: The continuous support from our volunteers and donors never fails to amaze me. They truly have a heart for our beneficiaries. They always go above and beyond what we expect, and I feel like they have re-defined what it means to go the extra mile. In the eyes of others, the job of a volunteer may seem simple – to simply man a community shop like any other convenience shop. However, seeing how our volunteers interact with our beneficiaries showed me that what they do is much more. They show care and concern for each and every beneficiary and speak with empathy. Aside from that, many volunteers and donors took time and made efforts to write encouraging messages to cheer on the Food from the Heart team. It is always heart-warming to read about how much people support what we do.


Favourite part of your internship?

M: My favourite part of the internship has been getting to know my colleagues and the volunteers at Food from the Heart better. I look forward to coming each day, for the team’s supportive and caring nature always makes me reassured. It is easy for me to ask questions when I am curious and share my opinions when in discussions. I am glad to have grown substantially in just these few weeks, and it's all thanks to the team here!

E: I am thankful for the opportunity to be involved in many different aspects of Food from the Heart. This allows me to try many things and see how every single part comes together to serve our beneficiaries. My favourite part is being able to speak to many different stakeholders, both internal and external. Megan and I truly work and interact closely with colleagues from various departments within Food from the Heart. 


What would you say to others who are considering an experience in social service?

M: From getting to talk to and know volunteers on a deeper level, learning about the backend processes and systems to acquiring shared knowledge from my colleagues, it has really broadened my mind as to how a charity organisation works. Furthermore, having spoken to numerous volunteers, the motivations behind volunteering here goes back to the moral value of altruism. The camaraderie and dedication I have seen across our volunteers has been very inspiring. Overall, this experience at Food from the Heart has been greatly exhilarating and a valuable one. And it is one that I will remember for a long time to come. Some food for thought: a little of your help goes a long way for our beneficiaries, and the social service sector needs your support to do so!

E: I came in wanting to contribute to the organisation, but I think I have gained and learnt so much more than I had ever imagined. There are numerous takeaways I have from this internship experience. Aside from gaining some useful hard skills, I have also had the opportunity to hone my soft skills. For example, negotiation skills, stakeholder management and relationship building skills. More importantly, this internship pushed me to step out of my comfort zone. Aside from having to handle various tasks independently, there were many things that we had to learn on the job. Despite the steep learning curve, I am so thankful for this experience. At the end of the day, beneficiaries are at the heart of all we do and it is an indescribable feeling knowing that the work you do daily is impacting lives. No act of kindness is ever too small, you can do your part for the less-privileged too! Be it volunteering your free time, donating some dry food items or making a monetary contribution, there’s always room for everyone to help us feed the needy.




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