Capital Campaign Blog

Sloan Chau, Food & Nutrition program manager

As we think about the benefits of CRC’s new campus, most of us probably think about the aesthetics – the curb appeal, nicer office spaces. When we ask our staff about the new campus, the response is quite different.

This month, we asked our Food and Nutrition program manager, Sloan Chau, to give us his thoughts …

“I think the expansion will offer a more dignified experience. We don’t have the most welcoming place right now: It’s crowded, hot (we don’t have air conditioning where our clients wait), and our clients often have to form a line outside on the sidewalk, where everyone on the street is watching you.

We’ve been seeing an increase in new clients, it doesn’t feel the best when you come to CRC (for the first time), especially if you are at a low point. Clients often feel shame, that this is their last resort, so having more room, more privacy, not having to sit shoulder to shoulder … these will all make coming to CRC a much better experience.

For our volunteers, the new food pantry will give us a lot more room, we’ll be able to work without running into each other, and it will feel a lot less hectic. Right now, we have limited storage but the new pantry will have more room, so we don’t have to worry about ordering more or pulling from off-site storage. We don’t want our clients to be worried there won’t be food for them if they see empty or almost-empty shelves.

When we address our relationship with hunger, we need to remember that it’s more complex than an empty stomach. We should strive to be as actively empathetic as we can, not only to our participants, but to ourselves as well. Our pantry does not only provide mere sustenance but provides a sense of agency and comfort that is a privilege too easy to overlook and be taken for granted in our own lives. The new building will help make a more welcoming and comforting experience as people come to us for service. And, it will be a source of pride for us – “look at our food pantry.”