What was your role at the Food Bank the past two years?
I served as an AmeriCorps Fellow with AmeriCorps VIP (Volunteer Infrastructure Program). Through the supervising agency of Cal Poly, I was placed at the SLO County Food Bank, and took on the position of Volunteer Coordinator. Throughout my time, I have recruited and supported hundreds of volunteers to assist the Food Bank team through our programs, events, fundraisers, and warehouse operations. In recruiting, recognizing, and building partnerships with my volunteers, we have been able to consistently serve the 46,000 SLO County residents who are in need of food.
What was your favorite volunteer event?
My favorite volunteer events have been with the Food Bank’s Children’s Programs. My first event was a children’s farmer’s market in Nipomo at the Dorothea Lange Elementary School cafeteria in 2014. Children progressed through the line exchanging our play money with staff. “Two apples for a dollar,” exclaimed a volunteer. At the end of the line, children were greeted by nutrition education volunteers who were serving a smoothie sample using fruit distributed that day, along with a recipe card. As a passionate advocate for children and education, I feel proud in playing a part in the Food Bank’s expanding efforts to nourish young minds.
What was your favorite Food Bank memory?
Well, I could probably write a book of my favorite memories. One of my most memorable moments was dressing up as Gobble the Turkey on the day of the Turkey Trot— greeting children, dancing, and then spontaneously asked by a news anchor to make a “Gobble” squawk for the live broadcast!
What has your AmeriCorps Service Term meant to you?
As my AmeriCorps service term comes to an end, I am feeling an overwhelming gratitude for my Food Bank family in supporting my professional and personal growth over the years. I could not have asked for a more compassionate and hard-working supervisor and team. Through my AmeriCorps experience, I have honed my organization and communication skills, and have been challenged to continue to learn and improve. I am most inspired by the generosity of this community, a staff team that is constantly reflective with a common vision in mind, and the dedicated volunteers who are truly the ones who make the magic happen.
Thanks for an incredible two years, Food Bank!