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February 3, 2012

Food program

After participating in the Run to Feed the Hungry from 2008-2010, to make myself feel better about stuffing my face with Thanksgiving dinner, I looked into to volunteering with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). I found I was in good company as I had to wait 6 weeks for an opening to attend a volunteer orientation. I’ve had wonderful experiences volunteering in the past with children at United Way and building a home for a deserving family with Habitat for Humanity. After looking into other organizations in Sacramento and attending their volunteer orientations, I found SFBFS’ mission to be something I wanted to be a part of.

I attended the orientation and was able to pick the areas that I was interested in volunteering with. Learning that I could volunteer the next week with the Food program at an offsite distribution, I signed up. I was so impressed with the concept of bringing food out to the community with a farmers ‘market style setup. Seeing how the staff setup, organized the volunteers and served many households, I was completely awestruck. They had it down to a science.

Within in a week I was invited in to meet with the administrative office to see if I would be a good fit. Everyone who I met with was genuinely nice and friendly, in addition to all the services that are offered here, I knew this was the place for me to volunteer. By the following week, I was answering phone calls and assisting the Receptionist with the many tasks she does to keep the front office running smoothly. In addition, I was able to learn the database system that is used to track client, donor and volunteer information.

Being able to use the database, I was able to expand my volunteering capabilities and assist with registering clients with the Food program. As Marshall, who was in charge of the Food Program at the time, was happy that I was able to learn this process, I was offered a job as Food Assistance Registration Coordinator. I gladly accepted the part-time position and within a couple of weeks I became a full time employee at SFBFS. I was never expecting such an opportunity to come my way; I was just interested in giving back and assisting others. I am so lucky that my job incorporates those aspects, as well as so much more. I’m so grateful that I made the decision to volunteer and the doors it has opened up to me. I couldn’t work with a better group of people.

Submitted by Erika Ledbetter, Food Program Assistant

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