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Faces of the Food Bank: Fernando

For many among our staff, the important work the Food Bank team does every day is made all the more special and satisfying because of the family-like atmosphere. People like Fernando Romo-who is about to celebrate his 12th anniversary as part of our warehouse staff- help to cultivate a supportive environment where everyone can be proud of the services we provide in our community. “These are my brothers,” he says. “This is our second home. We look out for each other.”


It is Fernando’s job to pull food orders for agencies to take back to their local communities. “When I’m pulling an order I’m so happy knowing that I’m helping people,” he says. “I’m proud of how many hungry people we serve.”


Fernando was born and raised in Tijuana with four brothers and four sisters. Perhaps his passion for helping others comes, in part, from his family’s food insecurity while growing up. “I was in the same boat,” he says. “One in six people [in LA] don’t know where their next meal is coming from and don’t have enough to eat. My parents didn’t always have enough to feed us either. It’s very hard.”


At age 18, Fernando moved and became a citizen of the United States. He helped all of his siblings relocate as well and helped them go to school. “Now my little sister is an elementary school teacher,” he says with paternal pride.


Before his work at the Food Bank began, Fernando owned a business in Downtown LA. “I ran a factory with about 40 employees,” he says. “But I lost that and became very depressed.” Fernando credits his resilience to his strong faith in God. “I told him, ‘God, take everything. But just leave me my health.’ And he did. Now I am very happy helping people. Very happy.”


Many things have changed at the Food Bank since Fernando first started working here. Only four of the coworkers who were here when he started are still here. “The CSFP program has improved a lot,” he says. “We have grown a lot and have seen many good changes. I give credit to Michael Flood,” President & CEO of the Food Bank.


In his spare time, Fernando spends time with his 5 year old nephew and watches the Dodgers religiously. He loves The Beatles, salsa dancing and his two children- a son, 25 and daughter, 31.


“Since working at the Food Bank, my blood pressure and cholesterol have improved,” he says. “I love working with my brothers.”

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