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Volunteer Spotlight – Lisa & John

Volunteers are the heart of Good Shepherd Food Bank. Each day our volunteers help provide meals to families, children, seniors and those in need across Maine. Without our outstanding volunteers, our mission to end hunger wouldn’t be possible.

We interviewed mother and son team, Lisa and John, to learn a little more about why they volunteer and their passion for ending hunger.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what motivates you to volunteer at the Good Shepherd Food Bank?

Lisa: I grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont, drinking lots of milk and eating fresh vegetables grown in my mother’s garden. Our family business, Thomas Dairy, processed milk, distributed dairy products and food for the federal WIC program. For years, I would pack food for the WIC program and listen to my mother talk about the importance of good nutrition. She would bring boxes of fresh vegetables from her garden to people picking up their WIC orders.

Today, I am a cardiologist and see firsthand the impacts of poor nutrition, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. Many of my patients struggle to pay for nutritious food while also paying for fuel oil, medications, and transportation.

I consider volunteering at the food bank an extension of my work as a cardiologist in many ways. I hope that helping to provide nutritious food will ultimately lead to less heart disease. I cannot sleep at night thinking of people going to bed hungry and without access to proper nutrition.

John: I am a rising junior at Yarmouth High School. Last summer, I volunteered at the Good Shepherd Food Bank to meet my community service requirements for graduation. I loved volunteering at the food bank and met so many great people that I decided to continue volunteering. It was such a friendly community, and I felt welcome right from the beginning.

I initially chose to volunteer at Good Shepherd Food Bank after my mother read me a story from one of the food bank’s flyers about a boy and his mother’s fight for survival. This story opened my eyes to just how big a problem hunger and food insecurity is in Maine. It also reminded me of stories of my father struggling for food as a child and my mother’s family in Vermont helping other families in need.

Q: What do you like about volunteering at the food bank?

A: Volunteering at the food bank is fun and social. We enjoy joining the team for morning stretches and then heading off to our work area for the day. There are so many exciting jobs to do, and we have met many wonderful people ranging in age from teens to ’90s. Everyone has a unique story to tell. We leave the food bank filled with satisfaction from our social interactions and our work. On the drive home, we reflect on how content we feel, having spent the day doing our part to fight food insecurity in Maine.

Q: What piece of advice would you share with new volunteers?

A: Our advice is to embrace the diversity of your co-workers and share your own stories with them. It is enriching to hear about others’ life experiences and to learn what motivates them as volunteers. You will soon become part of a wonderful community.

Volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank is one way to give back to local Maine communities. Your generous donation of time and talent makes an impact in the fight against hunger and allows us to fulfill our mission of providing food to food-insecure Maine families.

For more information on how to start volunteering at Good Shepherd Food Bank, please go here or call us at 207-782-3554.