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Initially connected with Hunger Task Force years ago when my kids needed service hours for their school. My daughter, Nicole, was going to Thomas Moore, and the school required volunteer hours. My son went to Pius XI, and there were the same volunteer requirements. I was drawn to Hunger Task Force and appreciated how easy it was to find opportunities that fit my interests and skills – that was nearly three decades ago. I’m retired now, so it gives me something to do. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Over the past 25 years, I have served more than 500 volunteer hours with Hunger Task Force. I’ve sorted food, bagged at the Mobile Market, helped in the warehouse, assisted with administrative needs and worked out at the Hunger Task Force Farm, located in Franklin. Since Hunger Task Force welcomed back volunteers in March 2021, I’ve been back weekly helping wherever I can. I feel like Hunger Task Force is taking away the stigma of getting help.
Before retiring in 2016, I worked for 35 years in supply chain logistics, installing management systems all over the world. I worked in food, consumer package goods, electronic and automotive. These are areas I know very well – product flow and operational efficiency – so when we’re packing stockboxes, I help new volunteers or offer them to follow my lead.
Hunger Task Force serves nearly 70 emergency food sites, so it was no surprise that the Bay View Community Center, another organization I regularly volunteer with, was a current network partner of the food bank. The pantry at the BVCC receives food, free of charge, from Hunger Task Force, so it’s amazing to see my efforts at Hunger Task Force come full circle. I know that the food I’m packing or sorting at its warehouse is supporting hungry families in my neighborhood.
I am proud to also support Hunger Task Force financially as a recurring donor. I’ve probably been giving money for as long as I’ve been volunteering. Once you’re aware of the work happening here, it’s easy to want to support the organization with donations so it can keep up the good work. I’m proud to have passed down the desire to give back to my kids. Both of my children are now in careers helping people; my daughter works at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and my son works for the police department.
For those considering a shift with Hunger Task Force, I would say give it a shot. The work is very fulfilling, the staff is encouraging, and you can really see your impact.
“Her flexibility as a volunteer is one of her greatest strengths. Jill can often be found either packing boxes in our warehouse or helping on various office projects, and she’s always available on short notice when we need extra help. Jill also has a unique background in warehouse and inventory management that allows her to provide ideas on how we can continually improve our systems and processes.”
-Kyle Buehner, community relations manager, Hunger Task Force