Changing the Narrative about Local Hunger Through Volunteering
For Mosaic’s Senior Director, Digital Strategy, Chris Hagemo, volunteering in his local community means more than just lending a helping hand to those in need. It’s watching his three kids, aged five, eight and nine, develop a love for volunteering while addressing hunger in their backyard.
A few years ago, after completing a study on stewardship, Chris and his wife realized they wanted to be more involved in the community. The two quickly decided to open their arms to children in need and became foster parents. Chris also took on the opportunity to serve as a Board member of Feeding Tampa Bay (FTB). Since then, volunteerism has become part of the Hagemo family’s way of life.
“My family and I pick up volunteer shifts on Friday nights and sort food or pack meals in the warehouse. I also serve as a member of the board of directors, where I lead the data and research sub-committee and participate on two more sub-committees. Through these roles, I have an opportunity to learn, advocate and support FTB’s mission to end hunger in Tampa Bay by 2025.”
In his time on the Board, Chris has witnessed how a small idea can grow into something that has a tangible impact on people’s lives, describing it as inspiring and humbling.
“During my time on the board, we did something unconventional – we merged with another non-profit. We combined FTB’s access to perishable food with the excess kitchen capacity at Trinity Café. Together we could prepare hundreds of pre-cooked meals each week. During the pandemic lockdown, this business model served as a lighthouse. Feeding Tampa Bay brought together local hotels and event venues with idle kitchens and delivery services like Uber and Amazon to provide over one million meals to senior citizens.
It is moments like this, paired with those spent watching his family support vulnerable community members, that have profoundly changed the narrative in the Hagemo household around hunger. These experiences are shaping his children to become more compassionate humans able to serve people going through challenging times.
“The best part about volunteering is seeing how much my three kids love it. Through volunteering, our family has a greater appreciation about food insecurity and I believe it has made us more compassionate and ready to serve people going through hard times.”
Through our Employee Giving Program, we are rewarding employees like Chris for their efforts in their local communities. Each employee can receive up to $2,000 per year for logged volunteer hours and financial contributions to local organizations.
“The Employee Giving Program allows employees to find causes and organizations that they can trust and make whatever their donations of time and/or money go further with a matched donation from Mosaic,” said Chris. “I am proud to work for a company that contributes meaningfully to its community and encourages its employees to be more involved because when we work together, we can make a real difference.”