We have two Kiwanis Angels this year!
Lesia Preston, Executive Director of the Ecumenical Hunger Program and Kate Young, VP Resident Services for Alta Housing are to be honored as the 2021 Kiwanis Angel Award recipients on October 28, 2021.
Lesia Preston, Executive Director of Ecumenical Hunger Program:
Lesia Preston’s involvement at the Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP) began in 1978 at the age of 13 as a volunteer in the food pantry. In 1982, she began her career as the Food Coordinator before being appointed Executive Director in 2011, where she continues her work to this day.
Lesia embraces the needs of EHP families and their children, not only with food and clothing but with a wide variety of programs that nurture and create a support system for EHP children that allow them to experience the normal joys of childhood while building their self-confidence and bringing stability to their lives.
During the pandemic, Lesia kept EHP focused primarily on providing hunger relief to those in need but worked to keep their main youth programs intact, converting the food service to a drive-thru program and home delivery.
Kate Young, Vice President of Resident Services for Alta Housing (formerly Palo Alto Housing):
Kate Young, 17 years ago, began creating the Resident Services Program and building up a team that provides thousands of hours of programming each year to serve the needs of Alta Housing’s low-income residents.
During the pandemic, Kate’s resourcefulness has helped her team focus on the families most impacted by COVID-19 income loss. They have distributed over $32,000 in grocery store gift cards, created a drive-thru food distribution in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, home food delivery in partnership with La Comida, Peninsula FoodRunners and Loaves & Fishes, and worked closely with many families to ensure they were able to access unemployment and rental assistance when they most needed it. Her team also developed innovative ways to keep kids engaged in learning such as through a Reading Buddy Program in collaboration with the Jewish Coalition for Literacy.
Link to Press Release:
The 2021 Angel Award Recipients, Lesia Preston & Kate Young