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Food for All with Jackie DeCarlo

Jackie DeCarlo’s leadership is a model of adaptability. The COVID-19 crisis called on skills beyond those of daily operations. This week on the show, she joins us from the Manna Food Center administrative offices in Silver Spring, Maryland, to share the leadership lessons that helped her continue to press the organization forward.

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Essential.

No, says Jackie DeCarlo, her people aren’t front line nurses and doctors, but they’re nothing if they are not essential.

DeCarlo serves as CEO of the Manna Food Center in Montgomery County, Maryland and 2020 was a year to test their vision like no other: Our community is a place where all people at all times have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious food in order to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to making Montgomery County, Maryland a place where all live in dignity.

The pandemic forced a renewed examination of that vision as issues of equity and justice in our national healthcare system put outsized pressure on food distribution. And yet, Manna was already positioned to fill gaps where others struggled.

Leveraging their network of government agencies, corporations, nonprofits, schools, medical professionals, employee assistance programs, and faith-based associations, Manna has cultivated a network capable of responding to the most vulnerable in the community, when they are in the greatest need.

DeCarlo’s leadership is a model of adaptability. The COVID–19 crisis called on skills beyond those of daily operations. This week on the show, she joins us from the Manna administrative offices in Silver Spring, Maryland, to share the leadership lessons that helped her guide the organization.

Hers is the story of family, generosity, and hospitality that is modeled with grace for thousands of families each month—tens of thousands of people in need many times over each year. Manna’s actions are ripples felt far beyond their community.

Essential, indeed.

Links & Notes

This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they're all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.

Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.