Anna Gorman – Child Programs and Extra Helpings Administrator
How do we nourish kids?
We’re continuing to partner with school districts in Contra Costa and Solano counties through our Farm 2 Kids program. Thankfully, all local school districts are stepping up and holding free lunch distributions for students during the school closures, and we’re providing them with weekly deliveries of supplemental food boxes and produce bags.
How have things changed because of the early school closures?
It was crazy the first two weeks after schools closed. Trying to quickly make a new plan in unprecedented circumstances with eight different school districts was definitely a challenge. Now that the initial logistical work has been done, it’s eased up a little. Our school programs have been established for a long time and usually run like a well-oiled machine. Things are a lot more fluid now; I’m constantly communicating with our district contacts and warehouse managers because sometimes we have to make changes with very short notice.
What about your job is most rewarding?
I get to leave work every day and think, “Well, that mattered.” I have gotten to know many of our clients, and when they tell me how much the food we give them makes a difference in their lives, or how excited they are about the new produce I picked for the month, it’s the best feeling!
What are your biggest challenges?
I struggle with knowing that even though food banks are meant to be a short-term emergency resource, many people are forced to use them as a long-term solution to the systemic problem of hunger. That’s why I love hearing about the great work Cassidie and Mary Ann (our advocacy team) are doing to fight for our community in the higher echelons of government.