All Faiths Food Bank has hired San Juana “Janie” Ramirez as its new DeSoto Food & Resource Center (FRC) client services representative. In this role, Ramirez, who is bilingual, will serve as the primary point of contact for all clients and visitors to the DeSoto FRC, whether in person or via telephone.
In addition to possessing the requisite managerial and interpersonal skills to successfully fill the position, between the ages of 6 and 17, Ramirez traveled with her parents—who were migrant farm workers—between Florida, Texas and Michigan for picking seasons. The eldest of eight siblings, she understands the challenges of maximizing resources when money is in short supply. In DeSoto County, where agriculture is the dominant industry, the number of persons living in poverty is nearly 22 percent, well over the national average. With a population of 38,000, household income is just over $35,400 and, in 29 percent of households, a language other than English is spoken at home. All Faiths Food Bank’s DeSoto FRC is designed to provide resources including needs assessments; benefit assistance for SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid, TANF, Social Security and Disability; legal aid; group classes; and referrals for other social services. Free tax preparation was offered this year, as well.