Come behind the scenes and meet the people who make the organization run! This month’s featured staff member is Mario Lopez, Community Health Educator.
What’s your favorite thing about working at SFBFS?
The willingness to lend a hand is abundant! It is such a warm and welcoming gesture that really makes you feel right at home. When I was first hired, I must admit that I was somewhat intimidated. But the environment is so friendly that I was quickly welcomed and made to feel part of the team! One important characteristic of what keeps me interested and engaged in a job is the sense of community among all employees; SFBFS could not do this any better!
What does a typical workday at SFBFS look like for you?
A typical workday as a Community Health Educator involves either preparing for, or actually teaching, a nutrition class. On preparation days, I attend outreach events to promote our classes throughout the community, gathering class materials such as lesson plans and recipe ingredients, making phone calls to remind clients about our classes and inputting class data into the appropriate databases. On class days, it can get incredibly busy as our department is running around making the final preparations for the class. Essentially, a typical day is spent preparing for classes, which can be a little cumbersome at times, but is half the fun and I thoroughly enjoy it!
What inspires you in supporting the SFBFS mission and culture?
Every day I am reminded about why we are all here, about why SFBFS exists. The environment is so welcoming, compassionate and vibrant. Everyone who works here actually enjoys being here. There is an overarching purpose we come to fulfill every day and it’s made a profound positive impact in my own life. We may all get caught up in the day-to-day grind typical of most jobs, but our organizational mission serves as a boost in morale to get me back out there and perform at my best. The community we serve deserves nothing short of that.
What is your favorite pastime?
Baking is a recent hobby that I have taken up. It started out of frustration with store-bought bread! I could not find a brand of bread that appealed to me, so one day I decided I would take it upon myself to bake my very own bread to make it my liking. I never thought I would be able to make my own bread, but it turns out that it is in fact both very easy and the tastiest kind I have ever had! I especially enjoy baking special loaves to give as gifts!
What is your favorite fruit or veggie and why?
Mango! It is not just a coincidence that my official Health & Nutrition name is Mango Mario. Mango holds a soft spot in my heart for how it reminds me of wonderful childhood memories. However, it’s difficult to pinpoint a favorite because it’s hard to present me with a food or dish (provided it is not insanely unhealthy i.e. slathered in butter, fried, sugar-laden) that I will not eat!