Two things have been fixtures in Jason Feld’s life since childhood — Colorado and helping others.

“It’s one of those things that gets instilled in you by your parents,” said Feld, who grew up as the son of two firefighters in the suburban Chicago area. “I like to help people and I like to keep busy.”

Feld checks both boxes with his job as resource manager of the Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, where nominator Stacy Poore said he plays a key role in procuring more than 16 million pounds of food annually to distribute throughout the southern part of the state.

“This is a monumental responsibility and Jason takes his role very seriously,” Poore wrote. “He procures healthy nutritious food and staple food items for pennies on the dollar, and he does so while managing increasing costs and flat budgets.”

Feld spent his high school summers working at a Boy Scout camp at Eleven Mile Canyon, outside Lake George. He talked for years about moving to Colorado permanently, finally deciding to take the plunge after losing his job with a large corporation in 2014.

“I spent most of my life in corporate America,” Feld said. “When I lost that last job, one thing I knew was I didn’t want to go back to that.”

Feld, who has a degree in criminal justice from the University of Phoenix, was looking for a law enforcement job when he stumbled across an advertisement for resource manager at Care and Share. He had been volunteering at the Northern Illinois Food Bank before his move to Colorado Springs, and had often thought about making it a full-time job.

“It was one of those things like, ‘Wow, this is a dream job,’” Feld said.

That dream job has not come without its challenges. Natural disasters and labor shortages, particularly in the trucking industry, present barriers to securing fresh produce for struggling Coloradoans. But Feld has never regretted leaving behind the corporate world.

“No job is without its stress, but at least at the end of the day — even if you had a rough day — you know you accomplished something good for somebody,” Feld said. “If you work for Evil Corp., as it were, even if you have a good day, when you go home, all you did was make somebody else richer.”

Feld’s volunteer work throughout Colorado Springs is equally inspiring, Poore said. He does IT work for Inside Out Youth Services, is a graduate of Leadership Pikes Peak Leadership NOW program, and is in the process of becoming a regular volunteer at UCHealth Memorial Hospital.

“It feels good to give back,” Feld said. “I’m not Warren Buffett, I can’t give money everywhere, but I can certainly give time.”

— Erinn Callahan

What makes Colorado Springs home?

“You know, it’s taken five years, but I think I’m finally starting to get to a point where I don’t have that nudge to move back home… Through all the people I’ve met and all the volunteer work I do, I feel like I’ve got a lot of friends now and I’m contributing to the community.”