“Local Hunger Fighters” is a series that spotlights our awesome supporters and staff who help raise awareness of hunger in our community and motivate people to get involved.

Local Hunger Fighters: Martín Huici at Second Harvest Food Bank

What is your role at Second Harvest?

I am the CalFresh Outreach Coordinator at Second Harvest. I am part of a team that promotes the use of CalFresh and our other food resources in our region. There are several aspects to this work, including developing new partnerships for outreach and CalFresh promotion, providing direct service to clients, and doing presentations to potential beneficiaries and to the staff of agencies with which we partner. One aspect of the work that’s critical is keeping one’s ear to the ground to discover what other leading food banks and nonprofits are doing, and determine how to introduce these best practices into our work.

You recently accepted a fellowship at the Latino Board Leadership Academy. What is the academy and what does the fellowship mean to you and to Second Harvest?

The Latino Board Leadership Academy recruits Latinos and provides training on the fundamentals of board service, with the ultimate aim of placing more Latinos in boards of non-profits whose missions are aligned with their values and interests. The Fellowship will allow me to gain a deep understanding of the workings of a high-performing nonprofit board of directors. This knowledge should balance nicely with my experience as a staff member in a large nonprofit like Second Harvest. The more each side understands the interests of the other, the better each will understand each other’s actions. A more direct benefit of the Fellowship is that I will bring the lessons learned on strategic thinking to bear on my work at Second Harvest.

What inspires you to do this work?

People make the best of the cards they are dealt through effort and perseverance. Working at Second Harvest has underscored for me that those holding 2s and 7s are trying just as hard as those with pocket aces to get ahead, provide for their families, or lead a happier life.

Why should people care about hunger in our community?

First, because hunger is here, all around us, as testified by the existence of one of the largest foods banks in the nation. Second, because a person should always know where their next healthy meal will come from. Third, because a community without enough food, or enough healthy food, is more likely to transmit its own challenges to the next generation. Finally, people should care about hunger in our community because they can do something about it.

***Click here for more information about CalFresh.