INTRODUCING THE FOOD BANK PANTRY LEADERS
Introducing the Kaye Prox Food Bank pantry leaders, MaryAnne Lykins, Joan Collins and Fran Gutcher. These three volunteers go the extra mile to help make the food bank run smoothly.
MaryAnne learned about the food bank through a friend and started volunteering eight years ago. Before becoming the Monday pantry leader, she primarily worked stocking shelves, checking families in and taking them through the pantry. Joan Collins is the pantry leader on Wednesdays. She became a volunteer ten years ago. She joined her grandson at the food bank when he did community service for his school. When he moved on to other things, she continued – almost every Wednesday. She assisted by shelving deliveries, working at the sign-in table, and taking families through to select food. Fran Gutcher, the Friday pantry leader, first met the food bank director, Marilyn Ruggiero, last year when the food bank collaborated with Feeding America Tampa Bay to bring the mobile food pantry to Town ‘n Country. Fran volunteered at the event and asked about other opportunities to serve. Marilyn encouraged her to join the volunteers at the food bank. Like MaryAnne and Joan, Fran spent most of her time at the food bank stocking shelves, especially when there was a delivery from Feeding America, and taking families through the pantry.
When asked how their activities have changed now that they are pantry leaders, all three admitted they often do many of the same things. But, they now also orient new volunteers, decide which groceries to give out, and answer questions from other volunteers. They make sure the experiences of families coming to the food bank are consistent on any given day. Overall, the pantry leaders ensure the process of providing emergency food is going smoothly. Finally, by sharing the duties of the food bank, they allow the director to concentrate on managing the food bank rather than having to focus on the details each day at the food pantry.
The food bank truly appreciates the extra time and effort MaryAnne, Joan and Fran contribute. Thank you!