Volunteers give their all to help feed local community

Sep 19 2014

Mikee’s hard work and dedication earned him the Newcomer of the Year Award at our Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

Volunteers are essential to The Food Bank’s mission to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger. Without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish all we do for the community. As always, our volunteers have been going above and beyond.

This year to date 1,360 individuals have dedicated their time to help create a Western Massachusetts where no one goes hungry and everyone has access to nutritious food, including:

  • • 8,000 hours in the warehouse
  • • 475 hours in the office
  • • 206 hours to help with events
  • • 200 hours for SNAP assistance
  • • 180 hours with Retail Rescue
  • • 100 hours for nutrition programs

One volunteer who has truly made a difference this year has been Mikee Guzman, who received the Newcomer of the Year Award at our recent Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. Mikee has helped with just about every aspect of our work. He has sorted food donations, helped at events, cooked for nutrition, translated recipes into Spanish, provided outreach at Mobile Markets, and tabled to help spread the word about both The Food Bank and our Will Bike 4 Food fundraising event. Mikee is truly a jack of all trades and a driven hard worker as well. Since he began volunteering in March, Mikee has put in 90 hours volunteering at The Food Bank this year so far.

“My main motivation for volunteering is to give back to members of the community that are a part of my students’ and my student’s families’ daily lives,” said Mikee, who teaches Spanish at Westfield State University. “In college there are people who are hungry- who are food insecure. This gives me access to a way to give back and make a difference.”

According to Volunteer Coordinator Erin Sullivan, one of the most impressive moments in Mikee’s time volunteering with the Food Bank was when he took it upon himself to speak at an evening film event he heard about at a Bike Week Breakfast, which was happening later that same day.

“He got up and spoke very eloquently about us and the event, and he had only been a volunteer for maybe two and a half months,” she said. “Just the fact that he took the initiative to go, and to do it on his own time was quite impressive.”

You too can take action and make an impact in our community. To learn more about our volunteer program, and how you can get involved, visit the ‘volunteer’ page of our web site.

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