Food Procurement Supervisor at Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
"I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today in my career and leadership growth without YNPN...Being a member of YNPN and attending the professional development events have made me confident in who I am as an employee and a nonprofit leader. It prepared me to ask for a raise and a promotion (and land them both!), and sell myself as a valuable nonprofit professional."
What made you decide to join YNPN San Diego?
I was in my first job out of college and in search of something new to fill my time and energy with. My supervisor at the time recommended YNPN, and encouraged me to apply for the board, and after much contemplation I realized that I really had no excuse not to. In high school and college I was never that overly-involved student – always having some excuse to not be active in organizations or leadership opportunities – and at that point in my life and early career, I had no excuse to not take that leap and become involved.
How has your YNPN San Diego board service impacted your career?
I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today in my career and leadership growth without YNPN. Serving on the board has taught me so much about people mediation, organizational management, and most of all myself, than I ever expected. Being a member of YNPN and attending the professional development events have made me confident in who I am as an employee and a nonprofit leader. It prepared me to ask for a raise and a promotion (and land them both!), and sell myself as a valuable nonprofit professional.
What is one of your top values? How does it play a role in your personal and/or professional life?
A top value of mine is flexibility. I think it is extremely important as a person in general to be adaptable, but even moreso as a nonprofit employee where often things do not go as planned or one does not have the resources needed or anticipated for a project or task. Being flexible means being flexible with personalities (both your own and others you work with) as well as your working style, your plans, and just life in general. I often find that better opportunities present themselves when you are comfortable rerouting planned paths.
What has been your organization’s response to COVID-19?
I work at the San Diego Food Bank, which without saying, is considered an essential service. We have been ramping up our services and working to adapt to be as supportive to the community as possible. Because of the increased need, the Food Bank without question had to increase its capacity. In order to help with the demand of serving our community members we hired 6 new full time staff. In addition to that, we have implemented all required social distancing and hygiene protocols by having many staff members work from home (job description permitting), cut down our volunteer shifts in half to allow for increased space, and install increased numbers of hand sanitizer or hand washing stations throughout the facility.
To put into context of our service, during non-COVID19 times we feed an average of 350,000 individuals each month throughout the entire county, totaling about 32 million pounds of food distributed through the last fiscal year. For just mid-March to mid-April, we distributed almost 4 million pounds of food to an estimated 600,000 individuals - that is almost double normal numbers. This includes us having multiple 1000-family, drive-by distributions in addition to our regular distributions and our network of 500 nonprofit partners.
We thankfully have had wonderful donor support to continue and expand our services, and we will continue to fight this fight alongside the rest of the community. Also, for anyone who needs assistance we are encouraging them to go on our website and click the "Get Help" button to find assistance in or near their respective zip codes.
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