Jordan’s Story and Loaves & Fishes’ Impact

At Google we have an opportunity to donate our time to local non-profits in the area. I joined a team of 30 Google employees to spend a day at Loaves and Fishes. We were able to make hundreds of meals for the underserved in our community. Since I’m usually behind a keyboard all day long, being able to work with my hands and help our community was a refreshing change of pace. I had a great time figuring out how to make the best meals as efficiently as possible. I had a great time giving back to the organization that does so much for our community. 

While I had a great time at the event, the experience was also an emotional experience for me because it reminded me of my childhood. I felt like my life came full circle from receiving nourishing meals from Loaves and Fishes as a child to being able to return as an adult to prepare meals for the next generation of those in need.

Growing up in a single parent household, resources were scarce. Shortly after I was born, my mother was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Times were tough, our family went through bankruptcy, and just being able to keep the lights on became a struggle. Some of my earliest memories were going to churches and other non-profits for food, clothing, and financial support. One place our family could count on for support was Loaves and Fishes.

We received support, but more importantly, we were treated with dignity and respect by the great staff at Loaves and Fishes. For this, I will always be in debt to this great organization.

At an early age, I loved to read, tinker on computers, and work on mini side-ventures such as washing cars, trash pick-up, sales at flea markets, computer repair, and multiple failed lemonade stands. I was exposed to technology at an early age and this had a tremendous impact on my development. Growing up in Silicon Valley, it was hard not to hear about all of the great things tech companies were doing. However, I felt that coming from a low income community and being a person of color, were obstacles to entering tech, since there are so few of us in this field.  

When I graduated from Santa Clara University, I was featured in a news story that led to my employment at Google. To work at a company that is committed to organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible no matter your education, ethnic background, or economic status is truly an honor. More importantly, the company’s dedication to advancing underrepresented minorities and women has inspired other companies to champion the cause of diversity. 

We take a lot of things for granted in Silicon Valley, and it’s hard to imagine that many people in our community struggle to afford food. And yet the 12 person staff at Loaves and Fishes serves almost 400,000 meals per year – and the need is greater still.  The organization remains true to its commitment of financial discipline by minimizing its administrative overhead to maximize how many meals they serve per year. As a testament to Loaves and Fishes’ dedication to the needy, they have recently been nominated as a finalist for the Drucker Prize.  You have an opportunity right now to make a direct impact in the lives of many people in our community. With a small donation of five dollars you can provide a poor family with a meal.