MPH student Emily D’Angelo completed a social behavior and community health internship with the Saratoga County Food Pantries and Charitable Food Community Based Organizations in Spring 2020.
“My internship with the Saratoga County Public Health Services involved conducting an assessment of food pantries to determine the current capacity to handle perishable food donations. New York State is expecting more foods that are healthy and perishable to be diverted to food pantries when the Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law becomes effective in 2022. Prior to this policy, Saratoga County wants to understand what public health planners can do to prepare to make this a success. My assessment helps to provide insight as to where efforts are most needed.
I enjoyed collaborating with different community partners on this project. I met many phenomenal community organizations, coalitions, and health partners that are dedicated to improving food access in New York’s Capital District. I think the most enriching aspects of my internship were my mentors and the individuals I had the pleasure of working with and meeting throughout my internship. I learned so much and working alongside these role models.
My coursework at UAlbany prepared me with a foundation in public health as a whole, which made me ready to enter the field with the ability to be flexible and familiar with a range of topics. Classes specific to my environmental health sciences concentration have given me skills that I’ve been able to apply to internships within environmental health, such as when I interned with the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at the New York State Department of Health over the summer. But I’ve also been able to bring these unique perspectives to internships outside of my concentration, such as this one with Saratoga County.
I found it beneficial to complete internships across different concentrations in public health because it allowed me to make connections between the pillars of public health. Going forward into the field, I am more well-rounded due to these diverse experiences."