Thank You to Our Summer Interns! | The River Food Pantry
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This summer, The River was fortunate to host two paid interns to help us fight hunger in Dane County through No Kid Hungry’s Youth Ambassador Program. From June to August, Gio Dinon supported our Access Team programs (ePantry, River Delivers, and Community Partners), curbside groceries, and FAM (Family At-Home Meals), while Lane Lemke worked with our mobile meals program Munch, volunteer program, and curbside groceries.

Before returning to UW-Madison this fall, Gio and Lane shared their thoughts on their internship experience with The River.

Gio Dinon

Why did you get involved at The River?
I volunteered at The River in spring of 2022, and in my search for an internship, I happened to ask about an open position, and it worked out that there was, so I applied and got the job!

What has your experience been like as an intern?
My experience has been amazing. I love the work I am doing, and I love working with everyone at The River. It turned out way better than I had expected.

What is your favorite story from your time at The River?
The main thing that comes to mind would be when we finally moved some space in the ePantry area, I had come to work the next day to see a mini basketball hoop from Bethany, which brightened my day and showed that everyone is just having a good time.

What will you do next?
I start school in the fall, and I will hopefully return to The River in some form or another, or maybe I can just stop in and say hi. Everyone is too cool to not come and visit.

Lane Lemke

Why did you get involved at The River? 
I had the opportunity to participate in a summer internship at The River funded by the national organization No Kid Hungry.

What has your experience been like as an intern? 
It has been truly incredible to meet so many kind and wonderful people, from those I worked side-by-side with in the pantry, to those I met providing services out in the community. I will never forget the amazing folks I met this summer, and I am forever grateful for the things I learned and the insight shared with me. Never before have I had a job I was able to go home from, more often than not, feeling better and more energized than when I came in that morning, but I’m happy to say that The River was able to give me that experience.

What will you do next?
I will be finishing my BAs in Gender and Women’s Studies and my certificate in LGBTQ+ Studies at UW-Madison over the next couple of years. After that, I hope to attend graduate school and earn a Master of Social Work, so I can continue to pursue a meaningful career in social work and community aid.

Many thanks to both Gio and Lane for all their help with nourishing our community all summer long!

To learn about internship opportunities with The River, please contact Helen Osborn-Senatus, Director of Operations, at helen@riverfoodpantry.org.

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