HOUSTON, TX – Houston Food Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Katherine “Kat” Tong to Director of Volunteer Services for the nonprofit organization.
In her new role, Tong will be responsible for directing all aspects of the Voluntary Services division, including the expected transition back to volunteers prior to the organization’s COVID, and overseeing the start of a USDA clean room in April to increase donations and distribution of much needed meat.
Tong joined the Houston Food Bank in August 2019 as a Food for Change Economic Partnership Coordinator. Food for Change is the food bank’s innovative strategy that goes beyond food aid and goes beyond the causes of hunger. In October 2019, Tong was promoted to Food for Change Economic Partnerships Manager. In her role, she has built and expanded relationships with Food for Change partners, markets, researchers and service providers to successfully implement food interventions. During her tenure, she created, developed and standardized processes and procedures for economic partnerships in the area of Food for Change. Tong led the implementation of various Feeding America pilots, the Household Empowerment Pilot and the Economic Shock Pilot. At the start of the pandemic, she also led a voluntary production project at the United Airlines Cargo Center that sorted and distributed more than 2.2 million pounds of food over a three-month period. She also led the partnership with CrowdSource Rescue to facilitate touchless food delivery for the elderly and individuals.
Tong graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she received her BA in Psychology, a Minor in Kinesiology, and Certified Business Foundations from UT McCombs School of Business. She was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, the UT Women’s Rowing Team, and the UT Women’s Club Volleyball Team.
After graduating, Tong spent six months in Nanjing, China, teaching English at a primary school and community center. Later she was a writing teacher at KIPP Nashville College Prep and spent three years at the Chinese Community Center in Houston in various positions, including as Housing Program Manager. After that, Tong was an International Recruitment Specialist at the University of Houston before moving to the Houston Food Bank.
For more information about the Houston Food Bank and its programs, as well as how to volunteer, please visit www.HoustonFoodBank.org.