Ryan recently sat down with Food For Free staff member Ross Richmond to share his story:
Ross: Tell us how you got started doing anti-hunger work.
Ryan: After working for the Peace Corps, I moved to Boston and began working at the hunger relief organization Project Bread in 2007.
Ross: Where were you working in for the Peace Corps? How did that lead you to Boston?
Ryan: I was in Azerbaijan teaching English for two and half years. While there I met my wife, and she was heading back to Boston for graduate school, so that’s where I went.
Ryan: I ran the annual Walk for Hunger for about 7 years.
Ross: When I think of the walk for hunger I imagine thousands and thousands of people stretched down Memorial Drive. That must have been quite the annual undertaking.
Ryan: Absolutely, it was great to be part of an event bringing 40 thousand people together because they cared about helping others. I enjoyed the logistics of making that all happen.
Ross: What was your favorite thing about working with Project Bread in general?
Ryan: I’d say it’s helping people in our own neighborhoods, engaging with our community, and working with people who were fighting hunger in really interesting ways. Project Bread funds a wide variety of programs and organizations including summer meal programs, a hunger hotline, and other new initiatives to alleviate hunger. They don’t just do one thing.
Ross: What excites you about your new role at Food For Free?
Ryan: With food rescue it’s exciting to see food come in and food go out. In the role of Operations Director, there is a rewarding problem-solving component that exists in taking food that organizations need to get rid of, and putting that high-quality food in the hands of people who need it. And we have such a great team doing that here at Food For Free. Our team really knows the many organizations we work with, and everyone here goes out of their way to ensure our partners have what they need.
Ross: All those relationships, it’s a lot to keep track of, no?
Ryan: It’s definitely been a lot to learn. We have over 100 recipient agencies we have to make sure we can provide with the food they want when they need it.
Fortunately, we have a great group of drivers who know their jobs well and we are proud of the high quality of customer service we provide. It’s made joining the team really easy, having such great guys to rely on.
Ross: That’s terrific. I know speak for the rest of the Food For Free team when I say it’s great to have you on board.
Read the rest of our Summer Newsletter!