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Volunteers from all walks of life at Midwest Food Bank


Deb Taggart is Embracing a New Chapter at MFB Arizona

Retiring from a job can be a significant change. Deb Taggart knows this well. After working for 30 years in Quality Control at Intel, identifying defects and solving problems in production, she started a new chapter. Instead of just relaxing, she chose to keep busy and help others.

Deb joined a unique program at Intel that helps retired employees work with non-profits. She's now spending a year with Midwest Food Bank Arizona starting in January 2024. Her project? Creating a Volunteer Appreciation Program. She's using what she learned at Intel to make a system other MFB locations could adopt.

"I have met so many wonderful people in the past month at MFB," says Deb. "I am very lucky to have been allowed to do my fellowship at this amazing organization."

Life isn't all work for Deb, though. She loves the outdoors and hiking with her husband, Glenn. They've seen many beautiful national parks, including Bryce, Moab, Yellowstone, and Yosemite, and plan to visit more, especially on the East Coast. Deb also enjoys making crafts and gifts for her loved ones and is a big animal lover, always ready to befriend any animal she meets.

"Deb is a ray of sunshine here at the food bank," says Merilee Baptiste, Executive Director of MFB Arizona. "She's been getting to know our wonderful volunteers and is excited to formalize our efforts to show our appreciation to them."

Deb's story shows that retirement can be a time for new beginnings, helping others, and still doing what you love. 


MFB Georgia mentoring strong young leaders

At Midwest Food Bank Georgia, we recognized the need for strong, young leaders, especially to lead evening groups when an extra helping hand could make all the difference. This insight led to the creation of our High School Volunteer Leader program, designed to engage passionate juniors and seniors who were already active volunteers. Our goals were twofold: to provide additional leadership support and to offer these young individuals an opportunity to hone vital skills like public speaking, instruction delivery, and diverse social interactions.

Meet our two graduating high school volunteer leaders, Kell Berry and Lily Galloway, and hear about their experiences in their own words.

Kell Berry:

"My name is Kell Berry. I am a senior at The Campus and have the privilege of being a Young Life Capernaum Buddy - helping students with disabilities to have a sense of belonging. My involvement with Midwest Food Bank started when I went with my parents and their small group, and soon I was volunteering every Friday. When Lina Martin (Volunteer Coordinator) asked me if I wanted to become a Volunteer Leader, I was excited and happy to accept the position.I have participated in the MFB High School leadership program for almost a year. I love what Midwest Food Bank stands for and wanted to contribute more to the organization.

I volunteer because I want to serve as Jesus did. One particular story that stands out is in John 13, where Jesus washes His disciples' feet. In this account, Jesus shows us the example of loving others well. I think about how many people we get to impact by doing service projects. You come out of MFB feeling so good about doing something impactful and good for others.

Midwest Food Bank is so loving and caring. They also make you feel welcome in their place. The Volunteer Leadership program has taught me how to be confident in what I do, and it has taught me great leadership skills and organization skills."

Lily Galloway:

"I love photography, all different types, like sports, birds, nature, and scenery. I am going to Berry College to study exercise science. I got involved with MFB long ago, so long that I can't remember the year I began helping.

I love the environment MFB has to offer, always welcoming and encouraging. Being on the receiving end of that energy made me want to spread it as well! I keep coming back because it's a wonderful opportunity for me to make an impact.

I was offered the volunteer position in my junior year and have been a Volunteer Leader since. I've learned how to be more confident with groups of people. I started off very socially shy. I have learned more about community building and connecting from this position as well. Every person I have worked with has been incredibly positive and loving, and I am extremely grateful that I was offered this opportunity!"

Our take at MFB Georgia:

"Kell has a smile that lights up the room and a presence that makes volunteers feel welcome," says Tricia Jacoby, Volunteer Leader at MFB Georgia. "Lily has a quiet confidence that encourages her to accept challenges and makes her a great leader."

At Midwest Food Bank Georgia, young leaders are welcomed and celebrated for their dedication and spirit of service. As these two seniors transition to new adventures, their contributions will continue to resonate within the walls of MFB and beyond.

Whether you're looking to make an impact, develop your skills, or become a part of a nurturing community, the High School Volunteer Leader Program might be the enriching experience you're looking for. Reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and let's make a difference together.

New England

Dynamic duo volunteering at MFB New England

Meet Joe and Sandy Koch, a dynamic duo whose roots in family and service have led them to become key volunteers at Midwest Food Bank (MFB) New England. With a legacy rooted in service and giving back, this couple has turned retirement into a mission to serve others.

Sandy, once the childrenswear buyer for Zahner's Clothier and an office professional, today channels her organizational skills into managing the volunteer break area, sorting groceries, and preparing them for distribution. During distribution, her role as a scanner is vital, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

With his extensive background as VP of Marketing at Country Pure Foods, Joe leverages his expertise in the "food world" to serve the community. He doesn't just volunteer; he leads by serving on the board for MFB New England and managing the warehouse. His organizational skills ensure that everything runs smoothly, and his role in inventory management is critical to the operation.

The Kochs' journey with MFB started with a Thanksgiving distribution in NYC, which led them to explore the possibility of opening a New England location. Their commitment and prayers led to forming a small committee and, in 2020, the launch of MFB New England. "We've been in awe of how God has blessed this operation," says Joe.

Joe and Sandy find joy in volunteering, with Sandy relishing the opportunity to meet new people and Joe finding joy in the community that forms around MFB's mission. He values the organization's culture, including "the empowerment volunteers are given to own our projects in ways that elevate the experience, efficiency, and overall operation."

"Joe and Sandy give freely of their time and talent to make this a warm, welcoming, and organized place," says Corey Barrette, Volunteer and Community Relations Manager. "Their contributions have collectively touched the lives of thousands of volunteers and agency members."

For Joe, retirement has taken on a new meaning: "I knew I was going to stay busy in retirement, but I wasn't exactly sure what that would look like. God provided this opportunity to serve at Midwest Food Bank at this time in my life, and I'm thankful for that."

Through their service, the Kochs embody the ethos that "to whom much is given, much is required." Joe and Sandy embody the service and community at the heart of MFB New England.

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