Food Bank volunteer celebrates 30 years and 90th birthday
Bill Antil has been volunteering with The Food Bank longer than anyone else on the roster. On Thursday mornings, for nearly 30 years, he has sorted and packed millions of pounds of food in our warehouse that have been distributed through programs like Brown Bag: Food for Elders, the Mobile Food Bank program, and through our member agencies. A self-proclaimed “lifetime Holyoke-er,” he recently celebrated his 90th birthday with Food Bank staff and fellow volunteers.
“Bill embodies the spirit of all our volunteers… civic-minded with big hearts,” says Andrew Morehouse, Executive Director at The Food Bank.
Antil was an underwriter at MassMutual before retiring. A need to keep busy and a caring motivation is what originally brought him to The Food Bank . “I was anxious to volunteer somewhere,” he says, “then I heard an ad on WFCR asking for volunteers at The Food Bank.”
He took the opportunity and found a community here. “This is my club,” he says.
When asked if anything has changed over the years he says “Of course! The number of people [who work at The Food Bank], people served, programs, three or four directors…”
Many staff and volunteers say that they greatly appreciate Antil’s good nature and sense of humor.
“He’s great, we love him,” says volunteer, Anne Beach. “He makes us our coffee,” she jokes when asked what she appreciates most about working with him.
Like clockwork, “he leaves the volunteer room at 10 a.m. to start coffee for his volunteer team. ,” adds Amanda Reynolds, Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator at The Food Bank. “He always brings treats for any volunteer celebrating their birthday or arriving back from travel. He’s such a caring individual, and I just love working with him.”
“The Food Bank couldn’t operate without the hard work of hundreds of volunteers who help get healthy food to those struggling with food insecurity in our community,” she continues. “Bill is a positive, warm, hardworking, young spirited man who has been at The Food Bank longer than any employee.”
When looking back on his 30 years of service, Antil recalls the enduring spirit of the organization. “The work is easy, but the one thing that stays the same is that they keep hiring nice people – volunteers and employees.”
The Food Bank has a variety of volunteer positions available that include office work and light warehouse duties. Please contact us to learn more.