Program Services Director
Kirk joined the East Texas Food Bank in September of 2007 as an Agency Service Representative, after working for the United States Peace Corps in the island nation of Vanuatu for two years. While in the Peace Corps, Kirk helped develop and coordinate a project to build and stock a community library in the town center of Ndui Ndui, West Ambae. Kirk’s time abroad in Vanuatu, as well as time spend in Asia and Central America, provided him extensive knowledge of poverty and hunger-related issues both domestic and abroad. Since at the East Texas Food Bank, Kirk has grown to appreciate the complexity of the hunger problem here in the United States and the strategies used to combat it. Upon arrival, he quickly learned the unique value of the agency network utilized by the food bank to reach those in need throughout East Texas. As Programs & Agency Services Manager, he has also developed an appreciation for the various specialized programs the food bank has assembled to fight hunger in all of its hard to reach places. Kirk graduated from Clarksville High School and holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in History from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Agency Services Representative
Jennifer Barnes joined the East Texas Food Bank in March 2015 and has had her hands, feet, and heart in the serivce arena for year. Previously with The Salvation Army, Tyler ISD and years of mission work in church and other organizations, she finds joy in developing relationships that lead to greater understanding of all people groups, communities and cultures. As an Agency Service Representative, she looks forward to partnering with those in East Texas that are busy serving their neighbors.
Agency Services Representative
Irene Howard joined the East Texas Food Bank in Feb 2007 after working for The East Texas Crisis Center as Client Services Director and Special Events & Fundraising Coordinator for 5 years. While at ETCC, she worked directly with clients and their families assessing needs and helping with problem solving. As an Agency Services Representative, Irene is in charge of monitoring and overseeing all the East Texas Food Bank's partner agencies.
Senior Programs Coordinator
Michelle Rodriguez joined the East Texas Food Bank in May of 2013. She is a new resident of Texas, moving from Omaha, Nebraska. Michelle comes to the East Texas Food Bank after working with Woodmen of the World. Prior to moving to Texas, she was a teacher and experienced first hand students in her classroom that were unhappy about holiday breaks and summer vacation because of the uncertainty of regular nutritious meals and a safe environment. While she was growing up in South Dakota on various Native American reservations, she also experienced many instances of people not having enough food resources to make it through the month. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science from Liberty University in Psychology/Sociology. She also has her Masters of Education from Univerty of Nebraska at Omaha. When not working to help others, she enjoys spending time with her children, gardening, quilting, baking and enjoying nature.
Mobile Pantry Coordinator
Linda Vass joined the East Texas Food Bank in June 2015 with a real excitement for serving those in need in East Texas. Linda previously served the Curves franchise owners in Texas, training and partnering with them as they established successful service for their clients. Her goal is to transfer her skills to serve new mobile pantries in East Texas as they successfully serve their clients and become partner agencies over time.
Child Hunger Programs Coordinator
Tim joined the East Texas Food Bank in August 2012 as the Volunteer Coordinator, coming from a management position at FRESH by Brookshire’s. From an early age Tim has been involved in missions across the globe, including Youth with a Mission, Mercy Ships, and King’s Kids. He has a strong desire to help people in need, and is grateful to be part of an organization that makes such a big difference in the community. At the East Texas Food Bank, he now coordinates our Child Hunger Programs including the BackPack Program, Summer Food Program and Kids Cafe. Tim earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Tyler.
Child Hunger Programs Specialist
Faye Browning joined the East Texas Food Bank in October 1995 after working for Racer Components for two years. While at Racer Components, Faye made transmission covers, shoes, gloves, and helmet bags for race car drivers. She has extensive knowledge in Microsoft Office and other technological programs. While at the East Texas Food Bank, she has seen the staff grow from 15 to over 40 employees and has worked in many departments including, Salvage Manager, Reclamation Center, Repack, Development, Agency Services, Administrative Assistance ,and currently assist with Child Hunger Programs. Faye is a graduate of the Leadership Foundation of New East Texas. Her leadership skills are displayed throughout the community volunteering to help with the distribution of food to needy families, tutoring, mentoring, and assist with many community events. The East Texas Food Bank presented her with the "Someone Special Volunteer Award" for outstanding service to our community. Faye holds an Associate Degree in Mission and Ministry from the International College of Missions, Romania, CA and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Texas College
Child Hunger Specialist
Valencia Jackson joined the East Texas Food Bank in March 2014 as a Child Hunger Specialist after working for the Andrews Center as an Intensive Care Manager. Valencia has experience with assisting individuals and their families in accessing mental health treatment programs, facilitating the coordination between various social service systems, and linking clients to community resources. She is passionate about helping others, enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and is actively involved in her church. Valencia holds an Associate's Degree in Sign Language Interpretation from Tyler Junior College and a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Jarvis Christian College.
Client Benefits Specialist
Melina Gonzalez joined the East Texas Food Bank in October 2010, after working for The City of Tyler Housing Department as an Eligibility Analyst for six years. Melina worked with families from different backgrounds to help them apply for the housing program. As a Client Benefits Specialist, she goes to different partner agencies all over East Texas and helps families sign up for services such as SNAP (food stamps) and CHIP. Melina graduated from John Tyler High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Accounting and a minor in Spanish from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. .
Client Benefits Specialist
Amanda Foust joined the East Texas Food Bank in July 2011 after working in law enforcement as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Amanda travels throughout the Northeast Texas area helping families apply for SNAP (food stamps), TANF and other benefits at East Texas Food Bank partner agencies. Amanda is a graduate of Quitman High School and holds an Associate degree in Criminal Justice from Northeast Texas Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Victim Studies with a minor in Political Science from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville,TX.
Client Benefits Specialist
LaTonia Sanders joined the East Texas Food Bank in October of 2014 after working in Human Services as a Social Services Coordinator for children and families of Greater East Texas Community Action Program Head Start and Early Head Start. LaTonia's background includes participating with AmeriCorps as a volunteer to America to fight against hunger, poverty and as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assult. LaTonia travels throughout the Deep East Texas area helping families apply for SNAP, TANF and other benefits at East Texas Food Bank partner agencies. LaTonia is a graduate of Angelina College and holds an Associate Degree in Human Services and a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science Degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.