There’s definitely a family thread weaving its way through Patricia Jacquez’s life.
She grew up in the hamlet of Aromas, where here parents owned and operated the Firehouse Market. As kids, Patricia and her brother naturally spent a lot of time around the market, pitching in just like countless other youngsters growing up around a family business.
In fact, it was that early exposure to the family business that led her to her role as Community Food Bank’s accounting clerk.
“I learned to do books with my Dad’s other business. He was a general engineering contractor too and I’d watch him doing the books,” she recalled. “I was interested in what he was doing. Numbers just spoke to me.”
She attended Aromas School, and after high school studied at Cabrillo College in Aptos and Heald College in Salinas. She held bookkeeping positions throughout the region before coming to Community Food Bank last year.
She’s found just the right place for herself. The best part about her job? Once again, it’s family.
“I like my coworkers best. We treat each other like family, with respect and understanding – just like a family. Everyone’s genuine here.”
Patricia was no stranger to Community Food Bank when she assumed her current duties.
“I love it here,” she said. “When I first started I was nervous. I was part of the clientele as well. When I started working here it gave me a sense of both ends.”
She quickly found that understanding the process of feeding people from the customer’s end to be an advantage in her diverse responsibilities at the business end of the operation.
“I really tried my best to make sure I could stay here,” she recalled. “I applied myself to make sure I earned a permanent post here.”
The mother of five found another advantage to working at Community Food Bank: a little one-on-one time with her husband, Victor Alarcon, who works in the warehouse.
“I hardly see him [at work] but it gives us time together for our lunch. We don’t get much time alone, so I’ll happily take lunch with Victor every day.”
The near future at Community Food Bank is exciting.
“I can’t wait to see how our building renovation is going to turn out,” she said. “I hope we can help more people, offer more resources and get the word out about the Food Bank – especially in the tri-county area. They don’t all realize how many people we help.”
Always armed with a ready laugh, when she’s not working Patricia said she still values her sense of humor, a valuable commodity in a large family.
But asked what her favorite activities revolve around when she’s not at the office she responded – you may have already guessed – family.
“I just like to spend time with my family. That’s the most important.”
Mark Paxton is director of community engagement and fund development at Community Food Bank. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors with his wife, Mary. They are the parents of two daughters and live in Hollister.