The Food Bank honored volunteers on October 18th at our annual recognition in the Concord warehouse. Volunteers were entertained by the Singing Blue Stars of the USS Hornet and awards were presented. The award for Volunteer of the Year was shared by two amazing women this year.
Debra Mason from the Ambrose Recreation Center and the Mt. Diablo CARES after school program was recognized for her work on the Farm 2 Kids Program. She has worked tirelessly since 2007 to create, pilot, and expand this program. While her work with the after school program in Bay Point is her occupation, her efforts to make the Farm 2 Kids program possible are completely volunteer. She has spent hours of her personal time working to keep the program going at the 5 Bay Point schools she oversees, but also working to expand the program into the 8 schools in Concord we now serve. When a few of the new Concord schools did not have the resources to come and pick up the produce, Debra and her husband Lee stepped in and made the deliveries for them. She is fighting to expand Farm 2 Kids into the Antioch Elementary Schools. Without her help, the Food Bank would not be serving the over 6,000 children in 55 schools.
Jo Crackel is a tireless supporter of the Food Bank and the people we serve. Jo has volunteered with both our Food For Children and Extra Helpings crews. Food For Children serves four and five year old children who are too old to receive WIC services but too young to be in school where a breakfast and lunch program may be available to assist with their diet. Boxes provide much needed food for these children each month. The Extra Helpings program serves clients of all ages. Boxes are either home delivered or picked up at local agencies depending on the need of the recipients. Neither of the programs would be possible without the crew that makes the boxes. Hundreds of boxes are put together every month by dedicated volunteers. Jo is a real leader on this crew and is greatly respected by all. Jo and her husband Rich also volunteer for several of our direct distributions helping at various sites every month. The Food Assistance Program volunteers arrive at sites early in the morning, help set up tables and canopies, bag produce and non perishable groceries, and distribute to clients all in just a few busy hours. One of Jo’s fellow volunteers recently said it would take several volunteers to replace Jo.