Jose Luis Sanchez
Programs and Aging Initiatives Manager
Citymeals on Wheels
THE POWER OF PARTNERSHIPS
Fast fact: Sanchez holds a master of arts degree from Hult International Business School
Jose Luis Sanchez coordinates the delivery of over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to homebound elderly throughout New York City with Citymeals on Wheels, and coordinates special projects such as the oral health program with Columbia University Dental School. He is also part of the Aging Coalition, which works together on policy and budget priorities for the aging network in New York City.
NYN: HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD?
JS: I always, always wanted to help people. I felt that it was very important for me to live a life in service of others so I geared myself to gain the education and the expertise in order to be of value to the community however I could. It’s just been great being able to be at City Meals on Wheels to work for such a vulnerable population. I mean for me, I can’t think of a more frail, isolated population that’s deserving of attention like the homebound elderly.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
JS: I think just being able to work in partnership has been my greatest achievement. It’s very important to me that if you can bring someone on to the bandwagon and they can add to the voice or add to the strength – that you make the effort, the commitment, to bring that individual, that organization on. I think my biggest achievement really is recognizing the power of partnerships and how one head isn’t necessarily the best. That more ideas, more opinions, more voices, more thoughts really empower programs. They really also do empower decision-making and really give legitimacy to what you’re doing, and I think that really speaks volumes if you’re working in the nonprofit field.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
JS: Oh! It’s so easy – so, so easy! Shockingly, it’s easy to cure hunger in America. We just need politicians with willpower.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
JS: At the end of the day, working for marginalized populations or isolated populations, for me that’s what I would love to continue doing and that would be my accomplishment: to continue to be able to work in the industry and continue to do my best in the teams and the partnerships and all that entails as being a part of the nonprofit world. NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB? JS: Everyone thinks that it’s getting a meal from point A to point B and it’s so much more than that. We think of our meal recipients as a part of our family … so we do so much more than just meals.