For the month of April, the Food Bank of South Jersey would like to honor and show gratitude to our dedicated volunteers! We know we can’t feed South Jersey without the united efforts of individuals and groups donating their time. Although our network is vast, here are a few that have made a real impact at the Food Bank of South Jersey.
Naomi Locket is a volunteer at the Lindenwold Hope Mobile distribution site. She is a teacher who works 5 days a week and volunteers every 4th Saturday since the start of the Pandemic at Lindenwold working with the CSFP distribution. Naomi’s activities at the CSFP distribution is to ensure the right amount of boxes and cheeses go into the cars of the seniors. Naomi enjoys volunteering with the Food Bank of South Jersey and likes how organized and well-structured it is. Naomi says that she feels “happy and great that I get to help people get food and see their happy faces.”
Tina Ryan is an all-around volunteer who started volunteering in 2014. She has represented FBSJ at fundraisers and events and assisted with office and phone calls for our CSFP team but the majority of her time over the years has been helping our Health and Wellness team. Tina has assisted with classroom and kitchen prep, virtual classes and classroom demonstrations. She is looking forward to more class and event participations when they become available.
Ryan Kosyla is a volunteer at the Lindenwold Hope Mobile distribution site and started at the beginning of the COVID Pandemic last year. At Lindenwold Ryan assists with loading food into recipient’s vehicles, directs volunteer teams to load food and assists with managing the food supply on pallets to adjust for need. Ryan enjoys knowing that we are feeding people, particularly children, who would otherwise go hungry or face serious barriers to obtaining food stating that “there is no typical person that comes to a food distribution; it cuts across socioeconomic and other demographics.”
Ryan said about his volunteer time that he feels “Uplifted. It’s a reminder that despite the serious challenges faced by members of our community, there is still something positive we can do about it.”
Sui Pang is a volunteer assisting with packing and sorting at the Food Bank of South Jersey in Pennsauken. Sui started volunteering with the Tzu Chi Foundation 3 years ago and continued after the pandemic started. At the Food Bank, Sui helps with sorting and packing food, making food boxes, packing CSFP food boxes for seniors. Sui enjoys the wonderful experience, the welcoming environment and friendly interactions with other volunteers. Sui says “we work hard but enjoy being here and feel happy helping people in need.”
Donna Pitko started volunteering in 2019 and has worked in our offices and packing and sorting. Some of her duties have included packing the CSFP senior boxes, sorting through frozen and fresh vegetables. She has helped with phone calls, thank you letters, and cooking classes. She says she likes “what FBSJ is all about. Caring and Giving. I have met great people that I volunteer with and that are employees of FBSJ. It is rewarding to know that giving some of my time helps others in some way. People really come together to help each other out.”
Jackie Gould (known to many as Ms. Jackie) started volunteering with the Food Bank of South Jersey in 2009 and has worked in Agency Relations, Distribution and Receiving. Jackie’s duties often entail checking reports for accuracy from all agencies, hope mobiles, school pantries, pups, and twilight harvest sites, filing invoices in the distribution center and donation/receiving inspection reports.
Ms. Jackie can also be seen filling in at the Front desk. Jackie says she enjoys “the rapport and the camaraderie of the staff. My work helps me to stay active and to help the staff do other responsibilities associated with their jobs.” She says she is “proud to give back to the community. I was unable to do much I worked, so this opportunity is a blessing.” In 2017 Jackie received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the Volunteer Center of South Jersey.
She was nominated FBSJ to receive the highest service level award in our nation was honored at the Spirit of Community event on October 26th, 2017.
The Food Bank of South Jersey relies on the dedicated volunteers that donate time to feed South Jersey.