GGC: Hi, I’m here with Josie Rodriguez and she’s the Administrative Assistant with the Upcounty Hub. And I just wanted to ask her a few questions. So, Josie, what do you do here at the Hub?
JR: I’m one of the Administrative Assistants here and I work directly with the clients and the families that are in need. I answer all their questions, sign them in, try to figure out if they have some kind of special needs as well, and see what we can do and work with the folks here to figure out how to fulfill those needs.
GGC: What kinds of things are these families going through?
JR: Oh gosh, everything! Everything you can imagine: loss of job, illness, a lot of them are low-income, obviously with no access to health care so trying to help them with that sometimes. Tragedies – we have several families who have gone through fires – not once but multiple times – locating them and helping them with all the food supplements that they will need during that time.
GGC: Yes, so in terms of the food each week so this doesn’t get them through the month, but it does help?
JR: It does. People don’t realize that. They think they’re getting a bag of food and some meals, but what that means to them is so much more.
GGC: How so?
JR: We don’t understand because we have food accessible in the fridge every day. I can just run to the market any minute. But these are people who don’t have access to a car, they don’t speak the language, they don’t even know where to go or what to do, they have kids at home. It makes it very difficult for them. So the fact that to their door they can get this bag of food that will make a big dent in their weekly food stipend, helps them tremendously.
GGC: And what would you want to say to the volunteers out there?
JR: Oh my gosh, they have no idea of the work they do. They are superheroes: because of them, we are able to get this food out there. We can get the food together, we can prepare the donations, we can put them in bags, but being able to have all these people out in the community just distribute this food, well, we wouldn’t be able to do this without them. So thank you! We truly, truly appreciate all your help!
GGC: Well, thank you, Josie, for all you do!
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