Volunteer Appreciation Month
The Campaign Against Hunger is recognizing and showing appreciation for our volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Month. TCAH is home to one of the largest food pantries in New York City having served 14,000 families per week. Volunteers are essential to this success as they are on the front lines of food justice while assisting our customers. From assisting with intake to unloading food items to harvesting produce from our farm we call the TCAH Urban Farm, volunteers are at the core of our approach to caring.
Harriet Livan, Pantry Volunteer
Harriet started volunteering with TCAH in September. She typically anchors our produce section for two shifts per week.
She is a retired education management professional who also volunteers at a pantry that receives food from us. Paul Jones, our pantry manager, considers her to be a reliable team player who is very friendly. Michael Schaefer, our volunteer manager, adds “Harriet is one of the most proactive communicators in the TCAH family and has worked over 200 hours in her six months with us.” Thank you, Harriet!
Diane Luft started volunteering with TCAH when she assisted with activities during a special event at TCAH’s Brooklyn food distribution center the week before Thanksgiving in 2021. She retired after working for the Bank of America and an attorney.
She was referred to us by the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of New York City. Since joining TCAH she has helped to pack grocery bags and fulfill client orders for DoorDash pickup at the center in addition to serving as an emergency contact for one of our satellite pantries. She was recently approved by New York Cares to become a team leader for their volunteers at this center one day per week starting this month. We look forward to working with her in this capacity. Thank you, Diane!
Dasheng Lei started volunteering on Saturday mornings this past summer as a Mandarin and Cantonese translator for TCAH’s satellite pantry at the Flatlands Reformed Church in Brooklyn. Despite his initial struggles with interacting with English speakers, he quickly became a reliable member of the volunteer team. He has been effective in explaining to customers how to use the Plentiful app for registering and placing future orders. He is known to be polite and willing to do whatever it takes to provide nutritious food to their clients. Thank you, Dasheng!
Lorraine Benton – pantry volunteer – Lorraine started volunteering with TCAH on August 3rd. She retired after working for over 30 years in various administrative roles for New York State’s Unified Court System. According to the pantry staff, she is a very friendly person who goes above and beyond expectations to provide great customer service to our clients. She even treated the staff to lunch once.
She also volunteered with handing out turkeys to our clients on our distribution day in BedStuy in November.
Her heart for the TCAH mission has also recently be shown by her interest in fundraising for us as well. TCAH looks forward to working with her in this capacity soon.
Hannah “Hanni” Garti-bar was our most active and reliable volunteer at our Saratoga urban farm last year. She hit the ground running when she started the first week of spring. Prior to joining TCAH, she planted bulbs in Riverside Park and serves as a member of a community garden in Manhattan. She has over 30 years of teaching experience in higher education and has raised two children. She possesses an MS in Agricultural Botany.
Hanna’s expertise quickly became evident to our staff and volunteers. We allow her to work at the farm with minimal staff supervision. She has also assisted with training new volunteers. Thank you, Hanna!
Corporate and School Volunteers
Approximately 50 employees from Amazon have volunteered with TCAH over the past year. In addition to having small groups volunteer at our pantry to personally serve our clients, they have also gotten their hands dirty at our Saratoga farm a few times. Another group helped to hand out turkeys at TCAH the week before Thanksgiving. Another pair with a human resources background spent most of a day conducting mock interviews for many of TCAH’s Opportunity Youth participants last June.
We wish to especially thank Carter Rauenzahn and Erica Harris for organizing these efforts. We look forward to working with you again this year. Thank you!
In addition to being a financial supporter of TCAH, National Grid also provided approximately 75 volunteers to work on our urban farms as well as in our pantry and food distribution center in Brooklyn. Highlights over the past year included a group of 10 working for a few hours this summer to develop our new Linden farm shortly after we broke ground on it. Dozens of their employees also worked together one day in February to pack grocery bags for pickup by our satellite pantries at our Brooklyn FDC.
We are grateful for your continued support of our mission over the years. Thank you!
The Beacon School
The Beacon School is a selective public high school that focuses its curriculum on technology and the arts. It was established in 1993. Before the pandemic, Beacon approved unpaid internships for six students over the course of a few years.
Since early last year, twelve have volunteered primarily after school at TCAH’s pantry in BedStuy to assist our clients with selecting food items in its market area. By the end of May, it is expected that they will have volunteered 530 hours by the end of May.
All of their volunteers have excelled at helping TCAH to provide excellent customer service. Thank you, Beacon!
Spend a few hours sorting, packing or restocking food on the shelves at our SuperPantry. TCAH volunteers share their skills and make a huge impact in our mission. When you sign up for a project you are supporting our efforts to feed families in our community.