Five Minutes with Danny & Justin

Each day Danny and Justin work side by side with our volunteers to help salvage many of the food donations received at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. From fresh produce to meats and dry goods, there is never a shortage of work to be done.

Here are five things you may not know about these food bankers:

 1. How long have you worked for Second Harvest? And what roles have you had within the food bank?

Danny: 8 years
Justin: 19 years

Danny’s first role at the food bank was as a truck driver for the Grocery Alliance program, which collects food donations from local grocers and warehouse clubs. After the food bank moved to its new (current) location, he transitioned to the position of Salvage Lead, which is the perfect complement to his previous position. Today he leads volunteers in the sorting and packing of the food he used to rescue.

Justin has had several roles at the food bank, including filling orders for feeding partners to pick up, coordinating food drives and driving the pick-up and delivery truck for Second Helpings, among other duties.  He uses his wealth of experience to lead volunteer projects in the warehouse every day.

 2. Where did you grow up and what led you to Orlando?

Danny: Miami, FL
Justin: La Crosse, WI

Danny grew up in South Florida and moved several times before landing in Orlando to be close to family.

Justin visited Orlando for a vacation… and never left! His family had their belongings sent to them from Wisconsin. They did move back north for one year, but he’s committed to the Sunshine State forever.

 3. What do you love about your job?

Justin: The people. Volunteers are quality people. They want to be here at the food bank, making a difference and it shows.

Danny: Building relationships with the volunteers is so rewarding. To see the same people come back over and over again, especially kids and families. I’ve seen kids start volunteering when they were 10 or younger and now they are teenagers with a passion for giving back.

 4. What is your favorite meal?

Justin: Comfort food – goulash, shepherd’s pie, mac and cheese. Oh, and steak!
Danny: Puerto Rican food – arroz con gandules and fried plantains. And, of course, pizza!

 5. What’s your favorite volunteer project?

Justin: Hi-Five Kids Packs are a fun project because you start with a big goal of building 500, 1,000 or even 5,000 packs. It seems daunting at first, but we turn up the music and have a blast. There is a big sense of accomplishment at the end of those projects.

Danny: Meat sorting. At the old building, we couldn’t handle the amount of protein that this facility can. It was a new endeavor for us and we had to make changes along the way. You might remember when we boxed the meat for our feeding partners. Now we bag it so they can see the product before distributing it.

You can help Danny and Justin lead many of our volunteer projects as a Volunteer Captain. Questions? Contact Mindy Ortiz at mortiz@feedhopenow.org.

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