Family of the Month for January 2020
Council: 13861 - SANFORD
When our council nominates a family for this award, we always interview them to gain permission and a better understanding of their participation in the Church and community.
When we met with Barbara a retired Human Resources manager, and retired Dr. Jeff Russell a Family Practice physician, their immediate response was that we need to include “their food bank family” as their accomplishments are truly a family effort.
The Food Bank family includes:
Donna Patterson, Carlene and Mike Roy, Mike Valcourt, Rejeanne Dubois, Gloria and Dan Rooney, Anne Marie and Jim Sanger, Dave Cousineau, Michelle Guillemette, Mary Gorsuch, Sharon and Jacques Dupuis, Sharon Desrocher, and Joan and Dennis Breton
The St. Therese food bank whose mission is to feed the needy in our community, was started in August of 2016 by Greg Semo , Joan/Dennis Breton, working out of the parish office basement. Very quickly it was realized that the need was greater and bigger than three people could handle.
When Barbara and Dr. Jeff retired in 2017 they immediately felt the call to give back and began a search of worthy programs. That was our lucky day.
After speaking with Greg, they took on the responsibilities of managing and coordinating the St. Therese food bank. In the early stages there were several weeks where their “family” of volunteers, realizing they we going to be short on food, went shopping with their own money to make sure the need was met. The family has not only donated countless hours of their time but have also gone shopping for fixtures, wheels for dollies, shelving, whatever the need without the expectation of compensation.
The food bank recently moved from the parish office basement (imagine carting the food up and down stairs) to their new location at the St. Ignatius Gym. Already, they are serving many more clients as this new location is more central to the need.
This is not a one day operation. Barbara and Jeff put in several hours several days a week to ensure inventories are adequate, FDA documentation is accurate, food is rotated for freshness, refrigeration temperatures are maintained, USDA/Good Shepard delivery trucks are unloaded, inventories and number of clients are provided to the USDA and to schedule volunteers for all aspects of the operation as well as the day they are open.