In this episode, we interview Radha Muthiah of Capital Area Food Bank. Radha has an amazing story that like many others is certainly worth listening to. Today, she shares her journey, mission, and more about how she has gotten to where she is today.
Radha’s early years were shaped by her family constantly being on the move. When her father brought their family to the United States so that he could pursue his education before returning home, Radha realized that education afforded her an opportunity to take a different path from what would have been more traditional. She set lofty goals early on, graduated from high school at age 16, and three years later had graduated college.
Being a goal oriented individual, Radha knew that she always had to be a few steps ahead, which is something that benefits not only herself, but also the region today.
To put things in perspective, traditionally the Capital Area Food Bank would work to respond to the needs of over 400,000 individuals and families that are food insecure, to over 600,000 in 2020. This has led them from a plan to distribute 30M meals to the community, to over 50M meals. Today, 2/3 of the food that they are distributing is purchased, since many donations from retailers are down given the strains of 2020. Radha discusses these challenges, and more.
Today’s topics discussed include:
How her family’s journey impacted her early path – including her early goals, and why.
The value of early mentors, and her takeaways .
Early realizations that understanding the impact of the private sector was important for serving others in the mission-oriented space.
Why she chose to focus on supporting others locally, after supporting others abroad.
The value of accumulating the tools she has over the years has been helpful given the challenges of 2020 – including supply, logistics, and more.
The impact of community involvement, especially in a year like 2020.
Understanding the interconnected issues that food insecurity impacts – including education, health, and more.
Her advice for those in the position of supporting charities, how to give, and what to think about when donating.
Radha’s predictions – both short-term and long-term for Capital Area Food Bank, herself, and the region – but also what the community at-large should be focusing on.
“There isn’t a single zip code in our relatively wealthy region that doesn’t have thousands of food insecure individuals within it.”