Two new Americorps members began volunteering at Second Harvest in September. Working in the Nutrition Programs group, they are always on the go, but we finally caught up with them for a chat.
Kristal Caballero grew up in San Jose and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Global & International Studies. The eight months she spent in Ghana as part of the university’s study abroad program sparked her interest in food justice and desire to work in the non-profit sector. “If you don’t have food, you are always looking for it,” she says. “Without food, you can’t do anything else.”
Now in her second year with Americorps, Kristal spent her first year at Landmark Elementary School working with kindergarten and fifth grade students on enrichment activities including nutrition, gardening and communication.
Spending her second year at Second Harvest is helping Kristal learn more about how non-profit organizations operate; experience she hopes to leverage to secure a job and work in Africa.
Currently, Kristal is working at our Food For Children distribution sites, where she is involved in program administration and nutrition education. She says, “It is very humbling to be in direct contact with the people the food bank serves.”
Annie Condon graduated from UC Santa Cruz last year with a degree in Literature. She grew up in San Diego, but as a kid often spent time working on her uncle’s farm. The farm and her work at local farmers’ markets created a life-long connection to agriculture and food sustainability, which was one of the things that led her to Second Harvest.
Annie says she accepted the Americorps position at Second Harvest to learn more about the different cultures and people that comprise the southern part of Santa Cruz County. She also wanted to be able to use her Spanish in a working environment.
Annie works in Agency Relations, helping to maintain and strengthen relationships with Second Harvest’s network of 200 agencies and programs that serve people in need throughout Santa Cruz County. She enjoys engaging with the people at the agencies to learn about what they do in the community.
“This community is so great, so diverse” says Annie. “Working at the food bank is fun because there are people of different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.”
AmeriCorps provides thousands of Americans of all ages, abilities and backgrounds with intensive full- and part-time opportunities to serve their communities and build the capacity of grassroots organizations to meet local environmental, educational, public safety, or other human needs.