If you’ve volunteered at the Food Bank on a Tuesday morning, it’s likely you were greeted by a sweet smile and a warm hug. For the past eight years, this is how Kathryn has welcomed every person who’s visited our Community Engagement Center.

While she’s met countless people over the years, her connection with Miguel, our Outreach Supervisor, stands out. Here’s how they met, and what keeps Kathryn coming back week after week.

How did the two of you meet?

Miguel: It started with a smile. We actually started around the same time. I always said hi to Kathryn when I got to work and she asked me what I do here. I told her I help people apply for CalFresh and that if she ever needed assistance, I could help her enroll.

Kathryn: I was hesitant at first, but I know I can trust him. After eight years, it’s personal. We have a friendship.

How did you get your start volunteering?

Kathryn: There was only one job available when I called the Food Bank, and it was greeting people. I was told most people don’t like it, but I like to talk so it was the beginning of a perfect job for me. I enjoy meeting people and when they smile, I smile.

Why do you stay involved with the Food Bank?

Kathryn: I enjoy doing that I’m doing. Plus, I enjoy giving back to the community. The Food Bank has helped me in many ways. Thanks to Miguel, I receive CalFresh benefits, which helps me eat healthy and save money. He helped me enroll in the Faith-DM program, which was very beneficial.

Sharon (Kathryn’s daughter): Mom has a love for coming here. She’s even invited her children and grandchildren to volunteer a few times. We got excited about it because she shared something she loves with us!

Miguel: Day in and day out, the passion Kathryn has for the Food Bank and our community has kept me motivated to do my job.

Kathryn: I’m just devoted. If I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it done.

We know that to be true. The warmth in Kathryn’s smile, the security in her hugs, and the passion in her work shows the true meaning of community. Thank you for all you do, Kathryn.