This week I contacted Ann B. McManus, the director of Second Harvest Food Bank in Lehigh Valley and Northeast, PA. She was very helpful and knew her company well. The Food Bank is basically a warehouse distribution center that provides food to local non-profit organizations, such as: churches, soup kitchens, day care centers, after school programs in the inner city, and emergency food providers. There are about two hundred and five food bank in the United States, each assigned to its own territory.
Although food banks primarily distribute food, they also serve in raising hunger awareness through programs and other means, like surveys of five hundred people who use the pantries in the area. Ann put the Food bank’s goal this way, “ To advocate for people who can’t advocate for themselves regarding the food issue.” Most people who get food from soup kitchens and other means, often get food that is very unhealthy containing things like high sodium. Because of this, the food bank has developed coolers giving them the capability to serve food fresh food. They hope that in the future these would be used opposed to canned and boxed food.
The food bank has an approximate yearly budget of 2.4 million dollars. One third of that if from public contributions, about half is from state or federal funding, and the rest is from things such as grants, small fees, etc. There is a staff of sixteen paid full time employees and another four full time employees who volunteer.
Employers at the food bank are searching for employees who have enthusiasm and passion for helping people. They want mission driven people who can make a difference, and the rest can be taught. On a smaller scale employees working in the warehouse should be able to lift seventy pounds, because it is a fairly physically demanding occupation. A college degree doesn’t hurt but is not necessary.