My name is Mary Holmcrans and I am the Food Justice Fellow with Repair the World. I spend an even amount of time working with the Jewish Farm School, the Mitzvah Food Project, and Challah for Hunger!
Service is important to me because it highlights dynamics and problems, and humbles you to the work that needs to get done, even if it might not be the work that feels the most rewarding to you. Service is a really valuable way to engage your talent and time and passion into something outside of your day to day life, and in so doing it keeps you connected and conscious of your community.
A memory that stands out to me from Challah for Hunger (CfH) was seeing unsold challah from a group selling at the Philadelphia Federation building be donated to the food pantry I help facilitate. While I help at bakes, I’m not typically involved with selling the challah, and it was particularly moving to see not only the care that CfH takes at every step of its process, but to gain a deeper understanding for how two organizations I work with benefit from and support each other.
The best challah I made this year was definitely the challah from JCHAI, which Maddy – CfH’s other Repair the World Fellow- and I made into french toast with our roommates for friendsgiving.
After my fellowship year wraps up I’m going to be serving in the Peace Corps as an agriculture systems extension volunteer in Benin! My time as a Repair Fellow and working with CfH was genuinely invaluable in preparing me for this next step. My experiences this year have sharpened my skills and challenged me to consider how to apply myself to my community.