Today, on Administrative Professionals Day, we celebrate Susan Jenkins.
Technically, Susan’s title at the St. Louis Area Foodbank is “customer service representative.”
But in reality, we think of her more as the “Face of the Foodbank.”
That’s because Susan is the first person our agency volunteers and staff see when they come in to pick up food.
About half of our 512 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and feeding programs come to the Foodbank to pick up the food they give out to families in need.
Susan greets them with a smile, and helps them coordinate their food orders.
“My favorite part about my job is interacting with the agencies and assisting them with helping people that are less fortunate because I know that we are working as a team,” Susan says.
Susan started as a temporary employee, processing donations in the development department during the busy holiday season.
She fit in so well, she quickly became a full-time employee.
“I remember when I started working as a temporary employee, I had never heard anything about a food bank nor did I have a clue as to why or how they operate,” Susan says. “Once I became full time and started getting to know the agencies, I began to develop relationships with them.”
In her five years at the Foodbank, Susan has come to understand just how big of an impact we are making in the community.
“I started to realize that my job was not just an income to help put food on my table, but to provide additional sustenance to a vulnerable population,” Susan says. “I was and am still playing a part in making a difference.”
Now, Susan’s work day consists of assisting agencies (over the phone or in person) with the orders they have submitted online. If they have questions or need additional food, she does her best to help them get what they need.
For the rest of us on staff at the Foodbank, Susan is a ray of sunshine. She’s cheerful and always fashionably-dressed. Best of all, she keeps us laughing.
She inspires us all to smile and keep working toward the mission, even on the dreariest of days.
“I am inspired by the fact that our primary goal as employees of the Foodbank is to service people in need to the best of our ability,” Susan says. “I enjoy knowing that we are here to help make their lives better.”