I never anticipated that saying goodbye to the co-op would be as hard as it has been. On the eve of my next adventure it is amazing to think back on everything that I was able to participate in over my internship with the High Plains Food Co-op. I am truly convinced that the co-op is the best organization that is tackling the immense issues within the food system.
At the beginning of my internship I do not think I understood that I was entering into a community that is holding an entire way of life together that was nearly lost. I do not think while I manned a table at every event in the metro area I fully understood the size of the co-op. I did, however, get much better at setting up a professional looking table and got better at handling the awkward conversations with people looking for raw milk.
My favorite part of the internship though was when I actually got to deal with food (mainly the logistics of getting food to people). Distribution was by far my favorite day of the month. Distribution is the way food should move, from one person to one person. Packing CSAs was probably the most hectic part of my internship, but once they were all packed it was rewarding to look at the hundreds of bags and know that someone was going to be able to enjoy the food that has an identity. Finally, I loved running deliveries around the entire city and getting to meet all the people that are obsessed with good food like me. I will probably miss driving around the city the most as I move on to my next adventure.
I only have a few hours left before I start my journey to the Peace Corps. I am a little preoccupied with figuring out how I am going to pack the last few things into my bag. I am however, going to be able to take everything I have learned from the co-op and apply them to a new setting as I begin work in the Peace Corps Zambia LIFE Program (Linking Income Food and the Environment). Although I will not know exactly what I will be doing for the next two years, I do know that I will still be working with small farms. However, I could not have spent the last two years any better and it was a great introduction to the world after university.