Adelina Harvey, a second year student at Loyola University Maryland, coordinates food access programing to address issues of food insecurity and injustice in Baltimore City. Since attending Loyola, she has been committed to educating herself and others on the history and development of social issues in order to understand and address their root causes. She works closely with local community leaders to coordinate student volunteers for a weekly farm stand and meal program to improve food access within a food desert neighborhood approximate campus. After service, she leads reflection sessions with volunteers to educate them about social justice issues to motivate social change. She also works with local corner stores to order and deliver produce through Loyola's suppliers to provide fresh and affordable produce in the neighborhood year round. In an effort to promote sustainability, she also introduced composting, collecting waste from stores and composting it on campus. She is currently planning events to bring community residents and students together to share a meal and build relationships through guided conversation and activities. These events will initiate positive change and address social issues by breaking down stereotypes and promoting understanding beyond campus.
Before college, I saw service as simply giving my time to help others, but after coming to Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, I learned that to produce long lasting change, social issues must be addressed by promoting justice through education and community involvement. Loyola's campus is uniquely located between two vastly different neighborhoods and this difference demonstrates the influence of social issues on communities. By educating myself on the long history of injustices that lead to this difference I came to understand the role of injustice in the root causes of the social issues of food insecurity, poverty, racism and others that burdened the marginalized neighborhood, while the neighborhood one street over thrived. My new perspective on service and social justice led me to address root causes of social issues by educating my peers and connecting with community members to strive for positive change. I work closely with community leaders to coordinate student volunteers, plan programs to improve food access within a food desert near campus and lead reflection sessions with students to learn more about social issues. My goal is to motivate other students to use their privilege and connect with their community to work towards positive change.