Project Aims To Flash Some Light On The Food Service Industry - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Project Aims To Flash Some Light On The Food Service Industry

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For many of us, it's a first job. For others, it's a way of life.

The food service industry can be a tough way to bring home the bacon.

If you haven't ever had to say 'do you want fries with that?' or something like it, it can be hard to understand what people in the business go through.

That could change soon. This project would give people the chance to share their experiences.

It's called Work Through My Lens. The idea is to give 8 to 12 Missoula food service workers a camera and let them take pictures of what they deal with on the job.

"The point is to empower people whose voices are often marginalized and not heard," explained Chad Bishop, the project's organizer.

The technique isn't entirely brand new. Photovoice is actually a social science tool that can be used as a way to research, but instead of someone with no dog in the fight coming in and getting the story, you get a first-person account from someone like Jacob Wilson, a barista and cook.

"Everybody eats out, but not everybody's worked in a kitchen before. A lot of people don't understand what that means," said Wilson.

Bishop wants to raise up voices like Wilson's, while also starting a conversation that ultimately reaches policymakers.

That's why he wants to finish everything before the 2015 legislative session in Helena, so there's time to bring up issues like low pay, unpredictable hours, and limited-- if any-- benefits.

"I've spent my entire life in a kitchen. I've been a dishwasher; I've been a cook; I've been a busboy; I've been a server. In that time I really enjoyed the work, but I never felt that some of the concerns I had about that work were ever listened to," said Bishop.

To do it right, Bishop says he needs about $10,000. Already he's raised almost $800 online.

Once they get the money, the project itself should take about 8 to 10 weeks. They are still looking for participants.

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