Jessica Switzer has been involved with Our Neighbors’ Table as a Spoon Platoon Member since before the pandemic. She started volunteering here in September as a way to further support her neighbors, while setting a good example for her children. “I have a 10 year old and a 12 year old. I want them to see that their parents are doing good because then they will grow up to do good..” Jessica is a staple of our evening Grocery Packer position, where she pre packages grocery orders that are distributed by the Newburyport COA. The evening grocery packing group works together after hours, which has brought them closer together. “I’ve made a lot of friends here. It feels like a community and people are excited to see each other. We always have fun and we always get our job done.”
When asked about her most memorable moment as a volunteer, Jessica shared a story about a community member coming in for a “food emergency” situation. She was blown away by the amount of care and consideration put into her well being. “There were questions asked such as ‘are you safe’ and ‘do you need food immediately?’ She left with a lot of food and knowledge about various offerings in our community.”
Jessica grew up in the Metro Los Angeles area before moving to Newburyport about 15 years ago. While living in California, she started a charity group named “Hearts and Hands” which allowed highschool students to fulfill their community service requirements at school. The group would sort food donations for local pantries as a way of serving without being on site.
Jessica is the Director of APAC Distributions at Cell Signaling Technologies. She has been with the company for over 20 years and currently serves as the chair of the Community Grants Program, which oversees their staff volunteer efforts. During the last week of February, Jessica and her coworkers have a conference in Singapore, where they will also be volunteering at a food pantry! Outside of work, Jessica enjoys cooking, riding her bike around town, and traveling to learn about other cultures and perspectives. We are very fortunate to have volunteers like Jessica at ONT!