Thank you to the University of Illinois Professional MBA program for sponsoring today’s Chambana Mom to Know! If you would like to learn in-depth about the Illinois Professional MBA, we encourage you to attend an information session. Attend one of these information sessions to meet Illinois MBA admissions representatives; talk to students or alumni of the Professional MBA; learn about our curriculum and class schedule; find out about program costs as well as scholarship opportunities; receive advice for the application process; and receive answers to specific questions. The next meeting is Oct. 5 from 6-7 p.m. in room 3009. Click here to register.
Kristen Bosch is the Vice President of Development & Community Partnerships at Eastern Illinois Foodbank. She’s also involved with various local organizations including Crisis Nursery, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Champaign-Urbana Illinois State Alumni, Relay for Life and others. She moved to Champaign in 2010 and quickly fell in love with Café Kopi, KoFusion and Boltini. Kristen and her husband Ryan, a teacher at Franklin Middle School, live in Mahomet with their kids, Jackson (3) and Cameron (4 months).
See why we think Kristen Bosch is a Chambana Mom to Know
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job? What’s the most difficult?
To know that someone got to eat today because of the work that I did is incredibly fulfilling. But the flip side of that is the innate fact that my job must exist. That in 2016 there are hundreds of thousands of hungry children and families right here in east central Illinois – it’s a startling reality that is the most difficult part of my job but also a driving force in our fight against hunger.
Q: The floor is yours. Tell us: What do you wish we knew about EIF?
There are many misconceptions about the work we do at EIF. We’re a food bank, not a food pantry. We like to say we put the food in food pantry and the soup in soup kitchen. Similarly, EIF doesn’t serve individuals. People that are hungry visit food pantries, soup kitchen and shelters in their neighborhoods and their communities. Those food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters get their food from Eastern Illinois Foodbank. We serve 17 counties, roughly 14,000 square miles, not just Champaign-Urbana. Last year, we distributed 8.6 million pounds of food – over 7 million meals – to hungry people across our service area. And, finally, the Foodbank distributes quality, nutritious food, not just junk that no one else wants. Of that 8.6 million pounds distributed, nearly 2 million pounds was fresh produce.
Q: How can families help EIF on a more regular basis?
Honestly, monetary donations are the best way to make a big impact at EIF. One dollar can provide five meals to our hungry neighbors. So even a small, $5 donation can feed someone for a week. Also, the Foodbank is one of the few community organizations where kids and parents can volunteer together. We host family repacks throughout the year so you can teach your kids about the importance of giving back. Families can also volunteer at Foodmobiles (ages 10+), which is a great way to see our mission in action.
Q: You recently welcomed your second child. How was this experience different than your first?
The days around Cameron’s birth were some of the craziest of my life. My water broke on a Thursday afternoon and we were set to close on our new house the next day. We literally stopped at our attorney’s office on the way to the hospital to sign over power of attorney so she could take care of everything for us. Cameron was born Thursday night; we got the keys to our new house Friday morning; moved Saturday morning, came home from the hospital on Saturday afternoon and celebrated my son’s third birthday that night. It was wild. I learned that we have the best family and the greatest friends. They totally took over and did everything for us. It was overwhelming – not the events themselves but the love and support we experienced.
Q: What are the most important lessons you’ve learned about being a working mom?
Your kids don’t care if you’ve had a bad day – this one’s hard for me but I do my best to check my attitude and really be present with them until 7:30 p.m. (a firm bedtime in our house) and then unwind.
Self-care is important. When I look good, I feel good. When I feel good, I’m a better wife and mom. Maybe that’s vain but it’s true. I try to be good about taking some time for me – getting my hair done, going shopping alone, enjoying a cocktail with friends.
Q: You get a day all to yourself. What do you do and why?
Ha! Did I also win the lottery in this fantasy?
I’d have an easy morning, lounging with whatever book I’m reading at the time and a hot cup of coffee. I’d go on a walk with the dog at Lake of the Woods, meet a girlfriend for a long lunch, followed by a nap and catching up on my DVR. Capped off with a group date night with my husband and friends.
Q: What’s your family’s favorite thing in C-U (outside of your home/neighborhood) on the weekend?
We spend many Saturday mornings at Urbana’s Market at the Square. (Seriously, how good are the spinach and feta croissants from Rick’s Bakery!?) We’re also big sports people so this time of year you’d find us tailgating (and enjoying an adult beverage) at an Illini football game.
Q: Tell me something most people don’t know about you.
Even though my job requires me to be the ‘face’ of the Foodbank, I’m a homebody and love my alone time.
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