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HR Team Recognized As Finalist for Delaware Valley Department of the Year


The pandemic created change in many places – especially at food banks. Operations had to be overhauled. Food distributions needed more creativity. And, internally, the Food Bank of South Jersey’s Human Resources department had to think differently.  

Not only did new policies have to be developed for employees and volunteers at the height of the pandemic, but the challenge also spurred a cultural change that today helps the organization address the spike in food insecurity in South Jersey.   

Recently, that transformation was recognized, and the FBSJ HR team was a finalist for the Delaware Valley HR Department of the Year in the category of Employee Relations. 

“Employee relations lies at the heart of our mission and HR serves as a critical partner in this process,” said Fred Wasiak, President & CEO of the Food Bank. “The last few years have been some of the most impactful in our history, and the HR Department was instrumental in allowing us to thrive in challenging times. We could not be more proud that our team was highlighted by the HR Department of the Year Excellence Awards.” 

Driven by FBSJ’s core values of versatility, collaboration, service, dedication, and integrity, the HR department is at the center of many of the organization’s strategic objectives. New initiatives recently launched include: 

  • New HR infrastructure approach that prioritizes a culture where mutual respect, support, flexibility, and trust are balanced with accountability and impact. 
  • A new salary administration plan that ensures equitable pay and makes the food bank more competitive in the marketplace. 
  • Restructuring of a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging plan that also reflects the voices of the communities that we serve.  
  • A learning and development program – available to all employees – that puts an emphasis on individualized development plans and mentorship among employees. 

“We know that all of this foundational work, done to build our culture and accountability, contributed directly to our ability to not only survive, but thrive during the pandemic and beyond,” said Chief People Officer Janet Kotsakis. “We firmly believe that because the positive culture of FBSJ is easy to recognize, many community leaders, donors, and perspective employees want to work with us to address the needs of our community.”

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