Updated: Dec 3, 2021
This week we're introducing you to Kassi Brown, our Response Center Specialist. Watch the video to learn more about her, SNAP, and what she does at Second Harvest!
Hi, my name is Kassi and I work here at Second Harvest Food Bank.
What is your role here?
My role of the Response Center Specialist has a few different avenues. One is the answering of the phones. So I get a lot of phone calls from different neighbors having different questions about our distributions, distributions around the community, our pantries, as well as different resources. I also help with some of the other programs here at Second Harvest. So one of the new programs that I'm super excited about is called OrderAhead. So our OrderAhead program is just a program where you go online, you pick your time slot--whatever's available on there--you pick the food items that you would like to choose from that list, and then you come at your allotted time and you pick up your order. And it's exactly what you ordered online, so I'm really excited about that. We had our time slots fill up very quickly for that program. So if you would like to be a part of that program, hop on there quick and grab up those times slots because they go pretty quickly.
We also have a program called the Home Delivery [Emergency Food Box Delivery] Program. It's for people who either are disabled or do not have transportation and are therefore not able to access any of our other distributions. We have a program that helps bring food directly to their house. Actually on that program right now, we're serving almost 400 households--delivering that food to the families there. We have amazing drivers that are taking that each and every day of the week. Throughout the week they serve those 400 families.
How long have you worked here?
I have been working here at Second Harvest for just about 6 months, so I started in June 2021.
What is your background?
I have my bachelor's in psychology and counseling. I'm currently wrapping up my master's in social work--so coming into my last year of that. Before working at Second Harvest, I was a humanitarian aid worker abroad for about 8 years throughout different parts Africa, the Middle East, and some parts of Europe.
Can you tell us more about SNAP?
SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It used to be known as food stamps. It's just a program that helps provide some cash assistance to people to help supplement their income to buy some nutritious food for their family. So here at Second Harvest, we help make people aware of SNAP and the benefits of that. And also we can help them apply if they need help with their application, so I'm here to do that.
One thing that people sometimes ask me is if they're on SNAP, does that disqualify them from any of our programs, and the answer is absolutely not. SNAP is just an additional way to access food for your family but you are always welcome to come here whether you're on SNAP or not.
What is your favorite part about working here?
I have a few favorite parts about working at Second Harvest Food Bank. First, the people. Both the people that I work with, my team here that I work with at Second Harvest but also all of the neighbors. Like I said, I get to answer phone calls from lots of different people, and just those conversations and ways of finding people the help and support they need in that that moment--that's something I love to get to do. And I love just being able to help meet people in the place that they have a need in that moment.
What's something about food banking that might surprise people?
One thing that might surprise people--and I see this a surprise to a lot of the neighbors that we serve--is just the amount of food that we are able to pass out. We pass out a lot of food through our doors and neighbors are able to take home a lot of food to help feed their family. One recent story of just somebody that I was talking on the phone with, she was just so excited--because were going to do holiday boxes here in just a little bit--we're passing out boxes for Thanksgiving and she was so excited to say: "My grandkids, I can't wait to tell my grandkids that Grandma is going to have a turkey." Just being able to pass that out and the amount of food that we pass out.
Lastly, what do you like to do for fun?
Well, I'm recently engaged so for fun my fiancé and I like to go see nature, especially the changing seasons. We like go to little festivals and things like that and just see different parts of the community and different aspects of what's going around in the area.
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