Foodie City Insecurity
Andrea Nguyen is a VCU student working toward a medical degree who spends her free time volunteering at RamPanty combatting food insecurity on the VCU campus and beyond.
RamPanty provides food to those in need, which is more than you’d think in Richmond, known for countless tasty and innovative restaurants and ranking as the U.S. city with the third most grocery stores per capita. In fact, many areas in Richmond are classified as food deserts where people have limited access to nutritional food because of any combination of a lack of stores or markets in their area, a lack of transportation to go elsewhere, or a lack of equipment required to prepare healthy meals.
Andrea says many RamPantry users come back to be trained as volunteers and extend the reach of the organization and their mission. She believes that creating non-judgemental environments like RamPantry are insurmountably important to creating safe, welcoming, and usable food banks. With community involvement, the opportunities for social improvement are limitless. People helping people is the best way to build happy, healthy neighborhoods.
When we realize it’s okay to not be okay, we can ask for and achieve the help we need.