In our New to the Bunch series, our freshest Afreshies discuss what brought them to Afresh and what motivates their connection to our mission. Find more stories on the blog and check the Careers page for current openings.
Beth Bodner is a Senior Technical Support Specialist who works hand-in-hand with our grocery partners to ensure smooth ordering operations. With a passion-fruit for the environment and volunteering, she has found the pear-fect role.
I joined Afresh because I want to make an impact with my work. Whether I'm buying groceries, trying to get somewhere, or shopping for a gift, I go out of my way to search for businesses and ideas that have a positive impact on people and the planet. After four years working in tech, I decided it was critical that the 40+ hours I spend at a desk each week were purposeful and aligned with my personal values. At the same time, I've grown increasingly interested in adopting a zero-waste lifestyle—starting with minimizing my personal food waste.
After three months at Afresh, I've checked all of the boxes above and also found that there are other people out there who care about the environment and social good as much as I do. And the best part is, I get to work with them!
Overall, I’ve learned that running a grocery store fresh department is no small feat. Our support team works with produce managers to ensure orders are placed accurately and those perfectly ripe avocados make it into your basket. Each morning, they’re responsible for ordering enough product to keep shelves stocked with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. There are no certainties on what will sell and our goal is to avoid waste at all costs!
In addition to my role on the support team, I also serve as the Afresh Volunteer Coordinator. I love volunteering because I get to connect with people I wouldn't have normally met, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when we started working with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
Our partnership has only been official for four months, but I've already met amazing friends who run our local SF-Marin Food Pantry, connected with co-workers I hadn’t met before, and learned to say "good morning" in Cantonese (早晨 - "do san").
I learned that volunteering was a core value of mine when I lived in Rwanda back in 2015. While teaching English and Microsoft Office to primary and high school students, I built relationships with friends I still keep in touch with today. My time there played a huge role in what opportunities I would seek and organizations I would get involved in the years to follow.
Here at Afresh, I'm inspired by the enthusiasm and kindness exemplified by my coworkers. Rain or shine, we spend several Thursday morning hours each month packing and distributing fresh groceries for participants who live nearby. And together, we learn about where their food supply comes from and extend our humility to our local SF community.
As time goes on, I'm excited to motivate new colleagues to volunteer, to expand our impact and reach, and to ultimately make fresh food accessible to all.