The Value of Interns

The Food Bank takes great pride in the fact that we have less than a 5 percent overhead. We could not do this without our extensive volunteer core of 400 to 500 hundred putting in thousands of hours each month.  This past summer we had the opportunity to host a different type of volunteer, an intern. We were leery at first and hesitated. Why would we not jump at the chance for the desperately needed help? It was our experience that others complained that interns weren’t useful and drained their time. The effort they put into them didn’t pay off and the bottom line that it wasn’t cost effective.  Rolling the dice we said yes and two fresh faced college freshmen arrived. Did we regret our decision? The answer is an outstanding NO! Tyler and Mayra made a huge impact on both our staff and the community.  Their time was mutually beneficial and we couldn’t have asked for two more incredible people.  Below they give their perspectives, and I think they went back to school with new life skills and a true sense of accomplishment. – Wendy Lewis, Associate Director

“Working at the Food Bank has been a wonderful experience. I was able to help out in many different areas. Not only have I helped out around the office and warehouse, I have also been fortunate enough to work one-on-one with the people in our community. I’ve been able to help with the Cal-Fresh Food Stamps program by pre-screening people who are in need of assistance and seeing if they qualify to receive food stamps. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some of the children in our community by going to the Canyon Creek Learning center and handing lunches to the children in the area. Overall this experience has been amazing! I have truly enjoyed my time spent here.  It has been such a gratifying experience and it has shown me that anyone can make a difference.” – Mayra Velazquez, UC Santa Cruz

“Working at the Food Bank this summer has been a fun and rewarding experience. From bringing food to children through the Lovin’ Lunchbox program, to creating spreadsheets and reports; from answering phones to working in the warehouse, my time this summer has been well spent. I feel like I have contributed my insights and skills to a program that has taught me a lot as well. It has made me aware of how big of an issue hunger is, and how important the job is that everyone is doing here. Thank you to all of the Food Bank for making my experience a great one!” – Tyler Davis, Stanford University