When a love of giving back and food equity rekindles a friendship


Meet Brittney and Shannon, two OSU alum passionate about volunteering, food equity, and community

Brittney and Shannon became fast friends in college when they were both a part of the school club, Recipe for Good. It was simple: both women prioritized giving back to the community through a connection with food. But when Brittney graduated and Shannon went on to follow in her footsteps as President of the club, they lost touch.

Fast forward to 2019, when Brittney and Shannon decided, independently of one another, to learn more about volunteering with Local Matters. The night they showed up for volunteer orientation, they were in for an surprise – the opportunity to reconnect with one another. 

After they rekindled their friendship, Local Matters took some time to connect with Brittney and Shannon and to understand what drives them both to continue giving back in their post-graduate lives.

Brittney starts by explaining her drive to volunteer: “I never feel like volunteering is something I have to squeeze in because it's just something that I really enjoy doing. The feeling is hard to explain, but I find myself gravitating towards opportunities to get involved in the community and just help…and to contribute to something outside of myself.” 

Shannon shares that volunteering for her is about connection: “What I like most about volunteering is how it connects me to the community. I think it is incredibly valuable for people to feel connected to their community and the people around them. When I get to meet people with different backgrounds and perspectives…it is so refreshing to realize… that I can play a role in the world and the lives around me.”

When asked what it was about Local Matters that inspires them to volunteer with our programs, both Brittney and Shannon leaned in to mission and values.

Brittney shares: “The work that Local Matters does on a community level is insanely necessary in today's world with food deserts and unhealthy food options for people in these areas… It is a luxury to be able to go to a grocery store within a mile or two of where I live and be able to purchase healthy food/produce to eat. I…fully support the idea that through food education and advocacy for healthier options in food deserts, we can help lengthen life spans and show people that healthy doesn't always coincide with expensive or out of reach.”

Shannon echoes Brittney, sharing that “Food is incredibly important in any person’s life and in every society. Food is what brings people together and what gives people health. Therefore, when people don’t have access to nutritious food, it undermines that community and their health.”

Every person who works with Local Matters - volunteers, staff, partners - has their own 'why.' We appreciate Brittney and Shannon sharing their 'whys' and hope you consider doing the same. By sharing your story of support, you allow us to continue our work partnering for healthy communities. Thank you!