Since 2017, Lisa has volunteered more than 580 hours at Feeding San Diego as a front desk volunteer, food sorting volunteer, and community outreach ambassador. She has also worked as an Administrative Assistant at Creekside Elementary in the Poway Unified School District for nearly fourteen years.
Around four years ago, when Lisa found herself with some spare time over winter break, she decided to look for volunteering opportunities, “When I discovered that Feeding San Diego needed an office volunteer to work in the evenings, it was a perfect match for me. When I first joined the organization, I was coming in after work just before the evening volunteer shifts began and I would operate the front desk, similar to a receptionist. I would sign volunteers in, answer any questions, etc. While the volunteers were working in the distribution center, I would manage the database and help the office staff with clerical things. It was a lot of fun!”
As Lisa learned more about Feeding San Diego’s mission, she felt akin to it, “Food is important for everybody and Feeding San Diego has made hunger seem like a solvable problem. As I got further involved with the organization, I was really inspired by the work. When I discovered that there are 1 in 8 people facing hunger in San Diego County even before COVID-19, it was shocking. With all of the wealth we have in this country, hunger is still a problem in the community and there are so many people that we don’t even recognize as food insecure, it’s outrageous. It shouldn’t be that way because we have the resources, it’s just a matter of getting the food to where people need it. It was certainly surprising to find out that the need is so great. But it’s also overwhelming that there is so much generosity in the community, and I love the fact that Feeding San Diego does so much about reclaiming food before it goes to waste. I really like that.”
With the rise in need for food assistance across the county due to the pandemic, Lisa has been volunteering at the Feeding San Diego distribution center, “I started sorting and gleaning the rescued produce and packing it up in food boxes for people who needed it. It has been an entirely different experience and I have really enjoyed working with a regular group of volunteers. We’ve really gotten to know each other and the employees as well who are fabulous.”
Lisa sheds light on how Creekside Elementary has had to adapt to hybrid teaching techniques since the start of the pandemic, “We‘ve adopted a blended model here at the Poway Unified School District where families who have chosen to do virtual schooling may do so. And for parents who want to send their children to the campus, we have shortened the school day to about two and a half hours. We have about a third of our population doing virtual schooling, a third coming in for the morning sessions on campus and a third in the afternoon. This allows us to practice physical distancing in the classroom and ensure that we don’t have too many kids in one space at a time. It’s completely different than anything we’ve ever done before. Going into it, we thought, this will never work. But it’s working and the kids are doing remarkably well. There are definitely challenges because sometimes technology works and sometimes it doesn’t. Everyone misses having regular interactions, but overall, it’s going well.”
Lisa further adds how volunteering at Feeding San Diego has been a rewarding experience, “Learning about the need has weighed on my heart certainly, but knowing that there are solutions in place and forthcoming is really encouraging. The staff and the other volunteers are amazing people and I just have so much fun working with them. I am so gratified that I can be a part of the solution and the little bit that I do helps our community. When we all work together; we make an impact. I believe that if we put our brains and some resources together, people shouldn’t be hungry. There’s food available, and we just need to look at it in a new way. Maybe we can solve this problem someday, but we have to start somewhere, right?”
Thank you, Lisa, for your continued support to help end hunger in San Diego County. We are grateful for your dedicated efforts and those of all our volunteers who are truly the backbone of Feeding San Diego.