Green Valley Food Bank lauds volunteers

By Ellen Sussman
Green Valley News

The Green Valley Community Food Bank showed appreciation to its corps of 151 volunteers Saturday with a luncheon donated by Carolyn and Win Tandy at Casa de Esperanza.
The Green Valley Aires, a barbershop group of 20 led by Wayne Brumm and Charlie Bauder entertained with happy oldies like “Put Your Arms Around Me Honey,” “If You Knew Susie Like I Knew Susie” and “Yes, We Have No Bananas.” With each vocalist wearing a red and white striped barbershop vest they sang a cappella — without musical accompani-
ment.
Branch manager Mary Jane Goodrick told the audience that in 2007, 151 volunteers worked a total of 11,883 hours, which is equal to 5.7 full-time employees. Volunteering the most hours were Bob Ward with 496 hours, Cheryl Averre with 324 hours and Beverly Smith with 312 hours.
In addition to administrative assistant Toni Lauterio and warehouse supervisor Mike Averre, Goodrick said volunteers
are at the heart of the efficiently run, non-profit operation. “Without you we couldn’t do it,” she told 70 volunteers who
attended the appreciation event.
Involved in a variety of tasks they weigh incoming food donations, unpack and shelve each Working with clients individual volunteers work one-on-one to help clients select the food they need. Now in his third year driving a truck to pick up food from local supermarkets John Hockemeier said, “I hate waste; the Food Bank is a good way to use food for needy people that would otherwise be thrown away. In my mind’s eye I’m doing something; instead of throwing food away we’re turning it around.”
Carol Heller feels the work of the volunteers is very important. “It’s sad that in the United States people have to stand in line for food. I get emotional satisfaction; the people are very appreciative; they always say ‘thank you.’ ”
Trudy Martin summed up the feeling of hunger succinctly and said, “You can’t do anything; you can’t look for a job or do well in school if you’re hungry.”
Sondra Bernard who serves as a liaison between Beth Shalom Temple Center and the Food Bank said, “It’s pretty amazing what they (the volunteers) accomplish. There’s tremendous outreach in this community.”
Volunteers Pat and Dale Young have been volunteering for three years. Pat said the Food Bank will really need food in the summer like to get the food out and onto the shelves and see clients come in and get what they need.”
Of the camaraderie among volunteers, she said, “It’s a good crew to work with. I look forward to coming in; everyone works well together.”
Then there’s Frank Perry, who has been a Food Bank volunteer since the late 1980s and recently volunteered 160 hours in one month. “I’ve never been hungry … no one in the United States should be hungry. I get a great deal of satisfaction giving food to those who need it; it’s very rewarding.”
Serving as coordinator of rescue food—produce, dairy and baked items—that can go bad if not used by a specified date Perry said he and others pick up an average of 1,600 pounds of food a day, six days a week.
In addition to produce, dairy and baked goods local supermarkets also donate pet food, paper towels and toilet tissue.
Goodrick thanked Casa de Esperanza for donating their facility.
Ellen Sussman is a freelance
writer in Green Valley.ellen2414@cox.net.