What a community needs

A message from David Gillanders, Executive Director

One of the best parts about working at Pathways of Hope is the seriousness with which we take understanding what the people we serve want and need.

We might be experts at delivering services (we are really, really good at it!) but as far as WHAT a community needs, we should not be making assumptions or guesses about it. We should be asking the people who know best – the people who come to us for help.

Lately, through our partnership with Pulse for Good and CalOptima, we have been able to bring in very specific data and information about how well we are serving our community.

However, while satisfaction ratings are great (and hey, getting scores like 4.9/5 stars in our reviews constantly feels pretty great!) we are just as interested in figuring out how we can improve and get better at what we do – serving people.

James, Community Programs Manager, and David, Executive Director, pose in front of a Pulse for Good survey kiosk


Lately in our feedback we have been seeing requests like asking us to designate foods that fit certain dietary restrictions. This kind of information is important and it does not get lost to the ether of agendas that evaporate into little-or-no action. We want to take action on these things.

We are just starting to really collect this kind of information and it will inform some changes, perhaps small and unnoticeable to most, but they’re important to our most valued stakeholder – the people who rely on us every day to keep them fed and help them offset the expenses the rest of life throws at them.

Food is a preventive tool. If you’re able to save money on it, perhaps you have a better chance at paying your rent next month. If we are listening to you about your needs, you’re more likely to come back and get food from us.

Sarah, Director of Programs, leads a Community Feedback Forum at the HUB, our food pantry, seeking feedback from the people we serve


You can see how this is all cyclical in nature and how these things feed off of each other. Listening is important, but doing is equally important. The people we serve are depending on it. I hope to highlight some of these changes in 2024 on this blog and in social media as we continue to improve who we are, what we do, and show you the value in investing in our work.

Until then, thank you to everyone who donates and volunteers in support of our work. You make this possible!