CVNL Heart of Marin Awards

January 16, 2024 /

Heart of Marin – Youth Volunteer of the Year

We are thrilled to share that Share the Bounty Co-Founder Kate Van Hooser was 1 of 5 recipients of the CVNL Youth Volunteer of the Year

In 2016, Kate, alongside her brothers, established Share the Bounty, which she has been steering ever since. This includes her leadership role within the organization, even after Share the Bounty merged with ExtraFood in 2022. Share the Bounty facilitates the donation of homegrown fruits and vegetables, making it a seamless process for individuals who wish to contribute to people in need. 

Before the merger with ExtraFood, Kate and her brothers were personally responsible for all harvesting activities, with their mother taking on the additional role of a delivery driver. Together, they completed 187 harvests, totaling an impressive nearly 17,000 pounds of freshly harvested produce, all of which was delivered to people facing food insecurity.

Kate's dedication is truly remarkable, as she consistently devotes an average of four hours per week, throughout all 52 weeks of the year, resulting in a total of 1,456 hours over the past seven years. In the past year, Kate has coordinated over 100 gleans resulting in 6,439 lbs. of produce.

As the Operations Coordinator for the Share the Bounty program, Kate is pivotal in overseeing several key responsibilities, promptly addressing any harvest or pick-up requests received from donors. Her process involves guiding donors to complete the necessary waiver, and ensuring all necessary paperwork is in order.

Subsequently, Kate takes charge of securing volunteers for upcoming harvests, a critical step in the process. Once the harvest is scheduled, or if a pick-up request has been made, she collaborates closely with ExtraFood Operations to establish a suitable pick-up time for the freshly harvested produce. The ExtraFood driver then takes on the vital task of delivering this food to their recipient partners.

This multifaceted role demands excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, as there are currently six active harvests in the process of being scheduled. Over 100 gleans in the past year have resulted in over 6,000 pounds of food, including one glean in October that resulted in 328 pounds of pears and apples. Kate's dedication and efficiency make a substantial difference in ensuring that fresh, surplus food reaches those in need through the Share the Bounty program.

Kate's dedication shines through in her steadfast monitoring of the program's email account. This year, she continued to maintain a rapid response rate to incoming requests, even amidst her busy schedule, which includes school, volleyball, and college applications. Her commitment to ensuring that donors' requests are addressed promptly is truly commendable. Furthermore, as Share the Bounty transitioned and adapted its operations to merge seamlessly with ExtraFood, Kate's unwavering dedication became even more apparent. She embraced the learning curve and readily adjusted to the evolving processes, showcasing her adaptability and resilience. Her willingness to go above and beyond to support the program's success has been instrumental in this transition.

Kate's influence extends beyond just her operational role. Her volunteer team has engaged with numerous donors, who have expressed gratitude for the program's impact. They are appreciative that their surplus fruit does not go to waste and admire the simplicity of Share the Bounty's approach, making it easy for them to contribute to the fight against hunger in Marin County.

Despite the delegation of harvesting tasks to a trained team of volunteers, Kate has remained involved in this essential aspect of the program. Recently, she joined her grandparents in harvesting apples and pears in Sausalito, demonstrating her ongoing hands-on commitment.

Kate's dedication and commitment to Share the Bounty, its constituents, and the community are evident through her consistent email monitoring, adaptability in the face of change, and personal involvement in harvesting, all of which have contributed significantly to the program's continued success in 2023. Her tireless efforts have made a tangible difference in the fight against hunger in Marin County.

Overall, Kate's dedication to responding to the community's needs, adapting to changes, and fostering inclusivity within Share the Bounty and ExtraFood reflects her commitment to promoting a culture of equity, belonging, and fairness. Her actions help ensure that fresh, surplus food reaches those facing food insecurity, regardless of their background or circumstances, contributing to a more equitable and fair community.

Congratulations Kate! We are so proud of all that you have accomplished and we are honored to have you on the ExtraFood team.