Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs: Food bank volunteering proves inspirational


Girl counting fingersPa Xiong wasn’t sure what to expect when she signed up to volunteer last November at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin along with 51 co-workers as part of a Community First Credit Union employee packing night.
 
Before the night was over, she had fallen in love with the food bank’s mission and seized additional opportunities to help.

I loved it so much that I signed up to volunteer two more times when I got home that night (on the Feeding America website),” said Xiong.

President-CEO Cathie Tierney was pleased to see a photo of 52 CFCU volunteers who gave up a weeknight to assist the food bank by packaging more than a ton of bulk Cocoa Puffs cereal, enough for one meal for 1,700 people.

It’s inspiring to see Community First employees embrace volunteer opportunities like this, work that benefits food pantries throughout Northeast Wisconsin,” said Tierney. “I feel so blessed and proud to work with such caring, committed people who routinely volunteer in the community and represent the credit union’s people-helping-people philosophy so amazingly well.

More volunteer opportunities
Employees who helped pack food at Feeding America in November had such an incredible time that many asked us to do this on a more frequent basis,” said Cathy Mutschler, Vice President Community Relations.

Consequently, Community First has scheduled three more volunteer nights this year, in February (already filled with 50 volunteers) and two additional volunteer dates in June and November.

Dustin Herrmann, volunteer engagement coordinator, Feeding America, praised the Community First team for bringing a lot of “positive energy. They were very efficient, lots of good teamwork, good fun atmosphere and they haven’t made a giant mess which I really, really like.”

We are the largest hunger relief network in Wisconsin,” said Liz Wollenberg, Feeding America’s donor relations manager. “We feed over 600 food pantries, homeless shelters and soup kitchens in the entire eastern side of Wisconsin. We’re not a food pantry but a food bank. We supply those programs with the food they need to get out to the people in their community that are hungry.”

Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin feeds about 400,000 people through its network of food pantry partners.

What you’re doing today is providing food for these pantries to fill the gaps on their shelves,” Wollenberg said. “You’re impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people with your work when you come to volunteer with us.”

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