Check out our full Q & A with Vanessa!
How long have you been working for Second Harvest?
I have been working for Second Harvest for five months now.
What were you doing before working for Second Harvest?
Before I started with Second Harvest, I worked two part-time jobs. I worked as an office manager at Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank, one of the pantries we serve, and as a home health aide.
What does your job entail?
My job as the Snap Outreach Coordinator includes helping people in the community with the SNAP (what used to be called food stamps) application process. I can also help them with LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) applications, medical assistance, or the housing weatherization program. I am also a Pantry Advocate, which means that I help the pantries by getting them information that their clients would ask for, things like employment, other pantries in their area, senior boxes, programs that we offer at Community Action, or even what the other pantries offer in their area.
What is your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about my job is being able to help those in need, to see or hear their happiness from the help that we are giving them. To be able to listen to their stories, the challenges that they are overcoming, and what food from the pantries do for them; I love that so much. I also like to travel and see how pantries run their services—how they all have the same mission to help feed the community, yet they each have their own style of accomplishing it.
What is something you wish everyone knew about food insecurity?
What I wish everyone knew about food insecurity is that everyone has rough times in their life; even if it is hard to ask for help, there are people who are willing to help them in that time of need. Never be afraid to get strength from where you least expect it.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
When I am not at work, I am a mom of three, so they keep me busy going out to the pool or anything that has to do with nature. For those rainy days that come around, we do crafts and watch movies.
What is your life motto?
My life motto is put good out there to get good back; stay positive; overcome your fears; the glass is half full, not half empty. There are so many, but it all depends on what life throws at me.