Today on the blog we are highlighting Rebecca Zeglovitch, a grant writer volunteer at FFEN, to learn more about her role and expertise.
What is your background and experience in? How does it relate to your volunteer role?
I graduated from University of Puget Sound with a BA in Business and then went on to work in event management. Recently, I have been using my project management software experience to help FFEN transition to using a new product.
How did you get involved with FFEN? How long have you been volunteering with FFEN?
My neighbor, Carolyn Kohrs, is one of the founders of FFEN. She and I were talking about volunteer opportunities and she thought I could be of help at FFEN! I have been volunteering for 3 months now.
Did you have any involvement with hunger relief efforts prior to FFEN? Can you talk about what drew you to this cause and why it's important to you?
The only involvement I had with hunger relief before this was occasionally donating some money to Heifer International around the holidays. I didn’t know much about how food shelves work or how many there are in the state of Minnesota, so it has been very eye-opening to work with FFEN and learn about access to food in our state.
What has your engagement looked like with FFEN? What projects or volunteer roles have you been involved in?
I work mainly as a grant writing volunteer, but I have also participated in a site visit to a food shelf in southern Minnesota to help them organize a new space and have offered assistance to FFEN staff in their transition to a new project management software.
Do you have any particular stories or moments from your work that you would like to share with readers? Something that illustrates the meaning and importance of the work or how you engage with FFEN's mission?
I was very excited to get the opportunity to work on writing a grant proposal for a food shelf because it’s something that I had wanted to get experience in but had never done before. I made sure to check with FFEN staff at every step of the way and was really hoping that I was doing the work correctly, but I knew that ultimately the decision lies with the granting organization. A few weeks later I found out that the food shelf received the full grant amount! It felt really great to know that I helped them realize their dream of creating a mobile food shelf program and increasing food access in their community.
How would you describe FFEN’s volunteer program?
I really appreciate how FFEN staff works with you to figure out what you can offer in terms of volunteering but also what will be most interesting to you. I have been in between jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis and the people at FFEN have been really great about making sure that I am working on projects that further my career development while helping them.
How has volunteering with FFEN shifted your learning or understanding of your particular field or hunger relief?
It has been great to learn more about access to food in our state, and the extra volunteer training that we received really made me think about the complexities of living below, or just around, the poverty line.