All Faiths Food Bank expands team in DeSoto County
Hunger relief organization hires San Juana Ramirez as new DeSoto Food & Resource Center client services representative
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Sarasota, FL (November 29, 2021) – In an effort to better serve the community in DeSoto County, All Faiths Food Bank has hired San Juana “Janie” Ramirez as its new DeSoto Food & Resource Center (FRC) client services representative. In this role, Ramirez – who is bilingual – will serve as the primary point of contact for all clients and visitors to the DeSoto FRC, whether in person or via telephone. This position is critical in ensuring that all clients are properly registered into the client database, welcomed compassionately, and provided needed information or directed to the appropriate staff member.
While Ramirez has the requisite managerial and interpersonal skills to successfully fill the position, it is her life experience that makes her a perfect fit. As a child, between the ages of 6 and 17, Ramirez traveled with her parents – who were migrant farm workers – between Florida, Texas and Michigan for picking seasons. As the eldest of eight siblings, she is family-centric and understands the challenges of maximizing resources when money is in short supply.
“As you can imagine, I can well understand the value of hard work and a positive attitude. My mother has also instilled the importance of giving back,” Ramirez said. “Throughout my childhood and adult life, I have been proud to be able to assist other migrant workers in accessing health and dental care by providing transportation and financial assistance for those appointments. Giving back is important to me and my family.”
In DeSoto County, where agriculture is the dominant industry, the number of persons living in poverty is nearly 22%, well over the national average. With a population of 38,000, household income is just over $35,400 and, in 29% of households, a language other than English is spoken at home. While food is also distributed there, All Faiths Food Bank’s DeSoto FRC is designed to be the epicenter for vital resources with wrap-around services including: needs assessments; benefit assistance for SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, TANF, Social Security and Disability; legal aid; group classes; and referrals for other social services. Free tax preparation was offered this year as well.
“We felt it was crucial to ensure that this position was filled by someone who has the capacity to navigate the social service system and advocate for others, through the display of empathy, respect, and understanding of community values and members,” said All Faiths CEO Sandra Frank. "In addition to her professional skills and work ethic, Janie has lived the life of a migrant worker and will be able to relate, with compassion and understanding, to those we are working to not only provide nutritional assistance but also to lift out of poverty so that we can end hunger, once and for all.”
To learn more about All Faiths, go to allfaithsfoodbank.org or call 941-379-6333.
PHOTO AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST: All Faiths Food Bank DeSoto FRC client services representative San Juana ‘Janie’ Ramirez
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator and a member of Feeding America, we provide millions of meals each year through robust programs and partnerships with charitable organizations in the community. In addition to food distribution, All Faiths Food Bank operates a roster of innovative direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger but strive to end hunger by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, better health outcomes and self-sufficiency. For more information visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.