We had the good fortune of connecting with Malinda Dalton-Cook and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malinda, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Our organization provides support for both individuals with developmental disabilities and families experiencing food insecurity in the San Diego, CA area, while also reducing the environmental burden of
excessive food waste.
Our community has a lack of meaningful volunteer opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities, we strive to have our volunteers learn valuable life and pre-employment skills such as, safe food
handling, organization, time management, meaningful interactions with their peers, and a sense of social
inclusion through giving back to those in need in our community.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We strive to offer an inclusive environment for all individuals with developmental disabilities so we have a wide range of ability levels among our volunteers.
Some of our volunteers enjoy sorting the produce and
preparing the food bags, while others really have a passion for cooking and like to share their recipe ideas
on our blog or on a handout provided in the bags from time to time.
We envision being able to customize
our workability services to the individuals who work with us, giving them their highest potential for success.
In order to do this we aim to foster growth and development through the use of adaptive
equipment when needed and individualizing the volunteer experience to fit each persons needs.
Many of our young adults are able to provide excellent suggestions on how we can improve our operations so in the
future we would like to develop a steering committee of volunteers to guide decision making for the
betterment of the organization.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Meghan Hoppes, Teacher, at Teri, Inc, The Country School in Oceanside, CA. Ms Meghan helped us launch what is now Paige’s Pantry.
A big Thank you to all of our volunteers, customers and produce donors, we could not run without your support each week.