TAMPA, Fla. — Feeding Tampa Bay helped Kim Ramey turn her life around.
And now the single mom is helping thousands of others do the same.
Kim, a mobile pantry coordinator, was runner-up for Food Banker of the Year at the nonprofit, helping the amazing organization distribute an estimated 85 million meals during this very hard year.
"When COVID first started, I was overseeing 40 pantries a month," she says. "Within a few weeks, we jumped to 140 pantries a month."
That was about 2 million meals a week for families in need. Kim's job is all parts empath, math whiz, people person and manager.
"I was doing 14-hour days," she says. "Going on one truck with one driver, then coming back to the warehouse, and jumping on another truck with another driver for a whole new distribution."
But Kim's own struggles make her even better at her job.
Not too long ago, she was in jail, "my unwanted four-month vacation," when she went too far trying to make ends meet.
"I was struggling, with no idea about the future of my life," she says. "You need to do whatever you can to keep moving forward, to stay out of the darkness. But it's not easy."
Kim enrolled in Feeding Tampa Bay's FRESHForce, a training program that gives people second chances in life.
She's now a star at the nonprofit, someone who can both help, and identify with, her guests at the mobile pantries.
"Whatever their story is, I don't ask," says Kim. "I just give them hope and serve them."