About 13% of Western Mass. residents are food insecure, a rate higher than any other food bank service area in the state.
To recognize the hard-work and acknowledge the accomplishments of out hard-working and dedicated staff, The Food Bank will recognize staff members in a series of profiles.
By Christine Dutton, Food Bank HR Manager
How long have you been with the Food Bank?: I’ve been with The Food Bank for almost 5 ½ years.
Tell us about your work at The Food Bank: As the Volunteer & Development Coordinator, the primary focus of my position is to work with individual volunteers, both in recruitment and placement. I work with staff to find additional ways for volunteers to get involved. I also facilitate a volunteer orientation twice-a-month. These orientations are really great because, in addition to sharing volunteer needs, we also teach people about The Food Bank and hunger in Western Massachusetts.
I also work with community groups and civic organizations to schedule group volunteer opportunities, and help coordinate food drives.
I currently chair the organization’s Diversity Committee, and in the past have served on both the Staff Recognition and Wellness Committees.
What do you like best about Coordinating Volunteers: I love hearing about what volunteers did before they came to The Food Bank – there are so many interesting people involved – or the others ways they’re supporting the community. And most of our volunteers are not just volunteering here. They are lovely people to work with!
What are some of the exciting things happening with volunteers: Many of our volunteers are currently working on the 2014 Hunger Study. This is a big project, with over 60 volunteers participating. These volunteers go to emergency food providers and collect data from individual participants about their personal experiences with hunger.
We’ll be hosting an ice cream social here at The Food Bank for all of our volunteers on May 30th. It’s our way to thank everyone for their help, from the regular volunteers who sort donations day-to-day, to those who help with the occasional event. It’s a great way to recognize our volunteers for their dedication and support, and to also get them to meet other volunteers they wouldn’t necessarily work with.
What is your favorite story about Volunteers: We have some volunteers who help with just about any need we have; they’re very dedicated. Last summer, one such volunteer responded to a later afternoon email for help with Brown Bag distribution the following morning. I didn’t think we’d get anyone, and just a few minutes after the email had gone out, I had someone to fill-in. I am always so impressed by the level of dedication our volunteers show.
Could you share a little bit about yourself? What do you like to do in addition to coordinating volunteers? Well, I love music. My musical taste runs the gamut and is super-eclectic. I think I was born a few decades too late. I like a lot of older bands-the “Oldies”. I also love to read-I love a good short story and enjoy music biographies. And, I really like lifting weights. I’m a member at Pioneer Valley CrossFit in Hadley, and am proud that I can Deadlift 195 pounds for 5 reps. I also really like to laugh and make people laugh. I’m okay with looking silly.
Any departing food for thought?: It’s nice to work somewhere where the community really supports the organization. We are very lucky to have so much commitment from people in Western Mass.
If you’d like to contact Erin and become a volunteer, sign up for an upcoming volunteer orientation.Comments Off
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