Volunteer Spotlight: “It takes a village to serve the community”

Dale West and Elaine Whitlock

As a volunteer in our agency relations department, Elaine Whitlock has an important job to do. For nearly two years, the retired academic journal editor has spent her Friday mornings at our facility in Hatfield gathering content and organizing the layout for NewsBites, our weekly agency relations newsletter. While she once did layout work for an advertising agency in Boston, she stumbled into her volunteer assignment because of a bad back.

“I started … in the sorting room,” she says. “I took two shifts a week for about a half a year, but then the cement floors were taking a toll. I was lucky enough to get a regular position in agency relations where I set up the front page of NewsBites.”

Serving as an information lifeline connecting The Food Bank to partnering meal sites, food pantries, and social services organizations, NewsBites provides essential information on food ordering and pick up, agency training workshops offered by The Food Bank, hunger advocacy, and more. Having a dependable volunteer like Elaine performing high-quality work is vital for keeping communications with member agencies running smoothly.

“[It’s] a critical step in our weekly communications,’ says Dale West, Agency Relations Manager. “She cares deeply about our mission and understands that even the littlest steps make a tremendous difference in our work.”

“I feel that The Food Bank provides a direct response to the hunger problem,” Elaine adds. “It feels like a great fit. It’s an atmosphere in which employees know they are doing good work and that it takes a village to serve the community.”

Learn about how you can volunteer at The Food Bank, and contact Amanda Reynolds, volunteer coordinator at amandar@foodbankwma.org, if you have questions.