Junior Mairin Warner spent her summer working to improve food security in the Kansas City area. Warner worked as an intern with a non-profit organization, After The Harvest.
The organization partners with farms around the Kansas City area to harvest the food farmers have left behind. The produce is then distributed to the Kansas City metro area.
Warner’s father is on the board of directors for After the Harvest which is how she first learned about the organization.
“He’s been really engaged in sustainability and climate change and all of that for as long as I can remember and he definitely has made me want to pursue something like that,” Warner said.
An average day for Warner could vary from in-office tasks to going out to farms and harvesting produce. When she was in the office she spent time researching food deserts and making sure they have outreach in those areas. She said she has also been looking into carbon trading for the organization since After the Harvest is carbon negative.
“It’s a little bit chaotic but I thrive in those kinds of environments, I love not doing the same thing everyday,” Warner said.
Warner said the ever changing nature of this job is one of its most challenging aspects but also the most valuable. She said another challenge the organization has encountered is finding volunteers to help out.
According to Warner, seeing the administration side of the organization was fascinating. She recalls her first day when she ended up in an administrative meeting with the board of directors.
“I just got to sit there and take it all in,” Warner said. “It was like the coolest thing ever.”
The organization had a corn glean-a-thon where farmers grew corn for volunteers to glean. Warner said seeing everyone working together to gather food for a community was really special.
“There was a giant pile of just like bags of corn that people picked,” Warner said. “We’re feeding like hundreds of people with all of this, that was very cool to me.”