Voices of Hunger: Roel Ramos

April 18, 2013 By: Sara Blair Category: WordPress Import

The work begins at 6:30 each morning in the Second Harvest Heartland distribution center. That’s when Second Harvest Heartland order fulfillment specialists, otherwise known as “pickers,” start assembling orders for the next day’s deliveries to many of our 1,000 partner agencies across Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Roel Ramos, one of eight order fulfillment specialists, plays an essential part in getting food out to those looking for a bridge to stability during tough times. In this role, Roel helps his team gather orders that are placed by partnering agencies and prepares them for shipment. On a typical day, they will pick anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 pounds of food.
“One day we had to pick 258,000 pounds of food. That was a long day,” Roel said. But he doesn’t mind. “It feels good to know you’re making a difference. You can be proud of that.”

The amount of food agencies receive from Second Harvest Heartland varies greatly. “Some agencies take 80 pounds of food, and some take 12,000 pounds of food,” Roel said. He helps fill orders for a variety of programs, too—from the Mothers and Children Program (MAC), which serves mothers with
children under six years old who are not on WIC, to school pantry programs.

Roel knows personally how serious hunger can be. “Growing up, I remember there were times when there wasn’t food on the table.” Roel watched his mother make every effort to feed him and his four brothers and sisters. They struggled and didn’t have many options to put food on the table through community programs, so Roel is proud now to be making a difference every day. “The number of resources for families is wonderful.”

Roel’s favorite part of the job is being part of a team that is working towards a common goal. “You get a sense you’re helping people in need,” Roel said. “The work you’re doing really matters to somebody. It really matters.”

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