Giving Voice to the Community Through Board Service

(Pictured above: Esme and youth from her church’s youth group volunteer together at a Friedens community event.)

Meet Esmeralda Martinez, one of Friedens’ newest board members! Esme works for Milwaukee Recreation and she’s no stranger to service. She has a heart for mentoring youth, and lives, works, and worships on the near Southside, very close to our Hope House and Despensa de la Paz Pantries.
When asked about her favorite things about the organization and her hopes for board service she said: “Food is a necessity, it is what we nourish our bodies with, and what helps all of us stay connected at the table. It’s what we celebrate and mourn with, food is a part of us. The data that opened my eyes to this issue is that most of the households we serve are not homeless, and they have at least one working adult. But even with a job and a place to call home, many people struggle to get food on the table.
One of my favorite things about Friedens is knowing we’re located right in the neighborhood. This means all the people I care about in the community (family, friends, church members & neighbors) have access to this resource & are being cared for too. I appreciate that we are a well rounded food center; not only in food distribution but we make efforts to educate people about nutrition and connect them to other resources with dignity and compassion.
From firsthand experience in having limited access to resources I can relate to the Hispanic community. I hope that through my service on the board, Spanish-speaking families feel represented and welcomed at our organization.”