Nick Akulov is a high-school Senior who spent a significant chunk of his summer break being a member of our Production Corps team. His youthful energy certainly brought so much light into the Hunger Solution Center, and his impact was surely felt by fellow teammates and volunteers. Thanks, Nick, for being such an awesome volunteer. Food Lifeline appreciates you! Nick’s conversation with David is below!
How long have you been a volunteer at Food Lifeline?
I have been volunteering at Food Lifeline for approximately the full month of August. More accurately – 219 hours.
What got you interested in volunteering?
I think volunteering is a great way to spend time, gain some new experience and knowledge, and meet people who are kind, unique, and passionate about their job. For me, I figured that volunteering during summer break would be a great use of my time.
What does a typical day look like for you when you come to volunteer?
Coming in at 8 o’clock in the morning, always having a box-cutter and a sharpie in your pocket, preparing the setting for the volunteer session, helping the volunteers themselves, resetting the stage, and doing this once again. It may sound boring, but in fact, meeting Food Lifeline volunteers and working with all of them is the highlight of every day.
What have you learned about yourself since starting to volunteer here? What have you learned about our food system?
I have learned that work may not be exhausting or tiring if I work on a good project with kind and dedicated people. I was truly happy and delighted to be there every single day. And of course, I’ve learned a ton about the food system and the warehouse overall. It may seem like something obvious, but behind every action there is a refined procedure to save your time, be efficient, and to keep the food and yourself safe. It’s fascinating!
What has been one of your favorite moments since starting to volunteer?
I can’t say that I have had a particular favorite moment, because I have enjoyed the whole process overall! However, probably one of the most exciting moments for me was getting to drive a Zamboni.
Have you ever personally dealt with food insecurity? Do you know anyone who has?
Personally, I have not dealt with it. However, I do know that due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a lot of people in my home country do now. In fact, the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain made the hunger situation worse for the whole world as Ukraine is one of the largest grain suppliers in the world.
What would you tell someone who wants to come and volunteer but may be a bit apprehensive?
There is no reason to be worried about anything. I think that fear just comes from doing something new and unknown. These are the nicest people you can meet, and it is a pleasure to work as on a team with them.
What does food mean to you?
Food is the lifeline. A person can live without anything, but not without food and water. The lofty goal of Food Lifeline is the hope that this lifeline will be not under threat in the near future for the people in Western Washington.