Happiest When She is Helping Others
5/21/18– Our Volunteer of the Month for May is Monica Gray! Hailing from Ventura, Monica has quickly become involved in all manner of Food Forward programs as a farmers market lead, a backyard harvest pick leader, and community ambassador!
Monica, right pictured with Jill Santos, Ventura County Branch Manager, left, at a community outreach event.
So tell me, how did you get started with Food Forward?
I needed to do an internship for my certificate in Social Media Marketing, and I wanted to work with Food Forward after I got the card at the fair and checked out the website.
What drew you to Food Forward’s work and mission?
Wanting to help reduce more food waste and feed hungry people, and to meet others passionate about the same things.
What is your favorite part about volunteering with Food Forward?
The connections I have made with other people are a huge bonus on top of feeling great about the work I am doing.
“Healthy food heals people,
and makes them feel cared for.”
How would you describe the volunteer experience in the office? In the field?
In the office, there are a lot of details to remember, data to enter, and a lot of picks to coordinate! At events, it’s nice to see people signing up to volunteer, and helping with the large distribution events is fun, too.
What was your first volunteer day like?
The scope of what Food Forward does is huge, and I had no idea how food redistribution is done, so there was a lot to learn. My first day involved a lot of note taking, and trying to get my bearings.
What have you learned from volunteering?
I have learned that my heart will always be happiest when I am helping others, and doing things that will help our Earth.
Is there a particularly powerful volunteering moment you’d like to share?
When we helped distribute produce in front of ReStore, a resident of a halfway house stopped and got some and expressed gratitude because eating healthier was helping him stay sober. That is the kind of thing that inspires me, and makes me grateful to be a part of Food Forward. Healthy food heals people, and makes them feel cared for.
Any words of wisdom you live by?
No matter how hard it can be, and how intense the pain and struggle is, life is beautiful.