Volunteer Spotlight: Wendy and Kent

Wendy and Kent - volunteer spotlight march 2023

By Karolina Pien, Volunteer Coordinator

As part of  Global Volunteer Month in April, we celebrated Volunteer Appreciation Week to express our gratitude for the generosity and support of our volunteers in the fight against child hunger.

Did you know we have had over 10,062 volunteers help us pack food bags, distribute them into children’s backpacks at schools, build food orders, and do many other projects so far this school year? Volunteers have helped us pack 374,279 food bags going to children across Minnesota. Minnesota ranks among the top 5 states in volunteerism and it clearly shows!

During this special month of recognizing volunteers, I want to shine the spotlight on a volunteer couple who has gone above and beyond in supporting Every Meal with their kindness, care, and dedication. Wendy and Kent enjoy volunteering together. In addition to their many roles, they’ve taken on being Volunteer Ambassadors – an experienced group of volunteers who help provide support during our food bag packing events. Here is what they shared about volunteering at Every Meal.

“Every Meal has been such an important part of our lives now for over five years when we first started distributing food bags at Mississippi Elementary School. When the pandemic hit, we were part of the volunteer crisis response team and packed three days a week to help fill the gap for children when schools were closed. It was at that time that we knew that Every Meal would be a major part of our retirement plans as we saw the incredible need for helping out with food insecurity and loved coming to each food bag packing event to help. It was so much fun to see first-time volunteers loving it so much that we’d see their familiar faces coming back time after time. 

Another way we have helped out is by sorting fresh vegetables from the Grow & Give garden for distribution. What an amazing setup the garden has grown into with all of the partners and participants helping to get fresh produce to families during the summer months.

More recently, Kent and I have loved being Volunteer Ambassadors and taking the time to chat with volunteers to make them feel the importance of the role they are playing each time they volunteer.

Every Meal has also been an essential partner at our church by helping with food insecurity in our immediate community through food distributions each month. We truly appreciate everyone at Every Meal for all of the help, support, and generosity to enable us to serve 500 families each month.   

One of the most important things that Kent and I love about Every Meal that keeps us coming back is that every child is eligible to receive the food bags, no questions asked. It is available to each child in the family, not just one food bag per family. Kent and I are so impressed with the taste testing done for new food items to ensure that the meals are not only healthy but taste good as well. That is an important factor that makes us proud to volunteer with an organization that truly stands by what they believe in.

– Wendy and Kent

Thank you Wendy and Kent for going above and beyond in your support of Every Meal and to all our volunteers who have dedicated your time and talents to help us get closer to our vision of ensuring every child has every meal. 

Learn more about volunteering at www.everymeal.org/volunteer, and If you have any questions, please email us at volunteer@everymeal.org.

Interested in meeting some of our other awesome volunteers? Check out our 2023 monthly volunteer spotlight series: