Final Reflection- Nusrat Zaman

Balancing life this semester was intense, overwhelming, and something I’ve never experienced in this magnitude. This course has been a source of escape and sense of peace for me. Being surrounded by individuals with great energy and passion for all things beautiful- helping others, communities, love, mother nature…

I initially started this semester with the True Greens team, excited about a project that I would be able to see on campus and immediate results. During my time with True Greens I got to: check out the UMBC greenhouse and water microgreens. I also helped at the True Greens launch and taste testing in The Commons at Wild Greens. We went around and passed out samples of the micrgreens to students and faculty in The Commons and asked for their feedback, it was a success!

A couple weeks into the semester, I felt True Greens project had a sufficient amount of students in the team. True Greens was pretty much up and running for the most part and had great structure already. My help would be more productive on another project, so I joined the Hungry Harvest team.

Living in a country where 6 billion pounds of edible produce are wasted each year, while 49 million Americans do not have access to fresh, health foods, just makes me upset. Hungry Harvest is on a mission to fight food waste and end hunger in America. They recover surplus produce from farmers and supplier and deliver it right to your door.

This is the first semester UMBC was attempting to work with Hungry Harvest. Hungry Harvest being a fairly new organization, and our group learning the process of various things, definitely brought some unexpected obstacles, but overall a great learning and hands on experience.

Bringing on Hungry Harvest to UMBC would consists of many factors: receiving permission/approval, finding a drop off site, constructing and designing informational and marketing tools (posters, fliers, brochures), creating a sign up sheet, numerous phone calls, endless emails, and just figuring stuff out on the way. I truly enjoyed my group and am blessed that I have developed a real relationship and connection with my 2 team mates, Stefanie and Chad, they are both so awesome! We have learned so much this semester working on Hungry Harvest and have shared some frustrations together, when we felt like the project was stuck, when we wouldn’t hear back from UMBC officials/ Hungry Harvest management, or when life happens and schedules are just everywhere.

Overall Hungry Harvest would be a great opportunity for UMBC campus. Providing students and faculty with accessible fruits and vegetables for a relatively low cost.

My advise to students joining this group project next semester, is staying active on communication! Keep in contact and updated throughout the project. It can be challenging not receiving an answer or result as soon as you put in the work, so having patience is key.

I am very satisfied and grateful for my experience with this course. This being my last semester here at UMBC, I am glad I joined this course! As young adults we should be active and engaged. Thank you so much Jill, I wish you nothing but success and positive results in all the projects you bring!

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