Enjoy our interview with Zac McPherson, the Program Manager at Second Harvest Food Bank. He runs all of the fantastic programs that bring food to people in our community.
My name is Zac McPherson and I'm the Program Manager at Second Harvest Food Bank.
What is your role here?
I oversee all of the distribution of our food through all our programs, our member agency partners, site sponsors. I manage a team that makes sure that all of the wonderful food and things that we're able to bring in actually get to the community and to the people who need it most in a timely and safe manner.
How long have you worked here?
I have worked here 4 years in October.
What is your background?
Worked previously in sales when I was directly out of college. I enjoyed it but found I did not have much of a passion for it. I really enjoyed serving people and feeding people. I moved into managing at restaurants. I did that for several years and again, while I found that I enjoyed parts of the job, it was still missing something. So that led me to have a discussion with my wife and thought about different options and opportunities. Figured out I really wanted to do something that gave back and really served my community.
Why are food banks important?
Food banks are important for a variety of reasons. I'd say the most of which is it is a place where anyone that has a need for food — and not just food, but nutritious healthy food —there's an option. There's a safety net. There's a place that people can go that they know will be there for them when they're not sure they're going to have enough money, or a way to get to a grocery store, or pay for the groceries once they're there. The food bank and its network partners — I can't understate how important they are — give people the opportunity to know that they're not going to have to go without, if they can just reach out to some of the support that's in the community.
What do people find surprising about food banks?
The thing I think most people find surprising is the scale on which food banks work. We serve three counties. Food banking and food pantry are two different things. We have a food pantry here on-site where we actually distribute food directly to our clients. It's going on right now as we speak. But as food banking, we really act in a way that a bank would. We keep food safe. We acquire it, store it, and then when our partners in the community and our site sponsors and other places need to make a withdrawal, if you will, of that safe, nutritious, healthy food, they're able to come to us, take that food back, and serve it directly to their community in a way they find most useful.
What is your favorite part about working here?
My favorite part of food banking, beyond the wonderful team that I work with, are the neighbors that we get to interact with and serve on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. You see different people from different situations all the time, but the one thing that is fairly constant is how grateful and how happy they are to know that this resource is here. That we can be a small part of helping someone through a struggle, or making their day a little better when it's really been bad for one reason or the other is what really makes me proud and happy to be a part of the food bank.
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