MUSCATINE, Iowa–When Lorena Medina started searching for a job, she knew she wanted to branch out into a new career field and find a way to support the community through her work. When she saw a posting for a new food program coordinator and director at Muscatine Center for Social Action, she knew she had found the right position. “I wanted something different and something that I can show my kids how important giving back to your community is,” she explained. “I wanted something that I could go home at night and feel good that I had helped others in some way.”
As the food program coordinator and manager, Medina oversees MCSA’s regular food pantries, which take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon. A service that benefits many throughout the community, Medina must make sure that everyone who comes gets the nutritious food they need and manage the various amounts of donated food that come in as efficiently as possible. As she put it, “imagine planning a dinner for a large group of people without knowing how many people are coming or not knowing what food is available to serve.”
Medina has also begun looking for ways to better collaborate with other area food pantries and find ways for them to work together to help eliminate food need throughout the region. “We want to be involved with other pantries surrounding our community to be able to help one another,” she emphasized.
Fluent in both English and Spanish, Medina also strives to make MCSA’s food pantry bilingual and to help people overcome any language barriers they may face in getting the food assistance they need. In the future, Medina would also like to learn French to help her communicate with even more people from a variety of different backgrounds.
Since joining the staff at MCSA in February, Medina has found great joy in working and forming relationships with the many volunteers who help with MCSA’s food program on a regular basis: “I really enjoy hanging out with all my volunteers. We love listening to music singing out loud as we feed people,” she shared.
Medina also takes pride in the fact that her work helps reduce hunger in Muscatine County every day. “I love the feeling of being able to make a difference is someone’s life with providing them with something we all enjoy: food.”
If you and your family could benefit from food from the food pantry, Medina invites you to come and see what she can do for you by stopping out to MCSA, located at 312 Iowa Avenue, Muscatine, any Tuesday or Thursday between 10 a.m. and noon. If you would like to volunteer to help with the food pantry, she encourages you to give her a call at 563-264-3278.