Somebody to Wish Them Well

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For the last three days, we have been training the new FoodShare Outreach staff that will be working in local communities throughout the state to provide high quality information and assistance to people who may be eligible for this important nutrition assistance program. 

Today, our new staff shadowed one of the current Outreach Specialists and was given the opportunity to meet and talk to some potential customers at the River Food Pantry in Madison. 

I was lucky enough to watch the staff as they met and spoke to the pantry customers and engage them in a friendly conversation about FoodShare. I saw smiles, caring, listening, and thankfulness. 

As we left the pantry, I noticed this quote from Mother Teresa, which was printed out on nine sheets of 8x11 sheets of paper and pieced together on a huge piece of poster board.

It gave me the feels.

I had just seen our staff do that last thing, "...for somebody to smile and them, somebody to recognize them, somebody to wish them well."

This is at the heart of what our FoodShare Outreach specialists do: they provide connection. Sure, they help people learn about the FoodShare benefit and help them apply if they are interested, but beyond that, they provide some connection for people who may feel left behind.

The simple acts of smiling, saying hi, starting a conversation, and then wishing them well at the end, makes people feel seen and recognized. Far too many people who are working through tough times don't not have the simple luxury of someone taking care of them in that way. 

I am proud to say that our Outreach staff throughout the state do not take this for granted. I saw them train it and practice it with my very eyes. 

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