Bob Smagala

Bob Smagala has been volunteering at the NORWESCAP Food Bank in Phillipsburg, New Jersey since March, 2005. After retiring, Bob decided that he wanted to do more with his time than just golfing so after reading a Food Bank newsletter he decided to volunteer. Bob began volunteering with the Food Bank two days a week as a van driver helping to pick up bread and baked goods from local grocery stores and produce from local farms. After completing these pick-ups, Bob can often be found in our salvage area helping to sort donated food and grocery product for distribution to our member agencies. Bob has also volunteered his time and talent for a number of NORWESCAP Food Bank’s annual fundraising events including our Culinary Celebration and Empty Bowls Luncheon. Bob has spent many hours on the day of our Culinary Celebration helping to transport supplies and set-up at our event location. Even after helping all day to prepare for the event, Bob can be found at the event later that evening helping to serve food and provide his assistance anywhere he is needed. During our annual Empty Bowls Luncheon, Bob again lends his support by preparing and serving his own homemade soup. In the past year Bob has added a new project to his volunteer work at the NORWESCAP Food Bank. In October, 2007 Bob was asked if he would be willing to help out with packing bags for our Backpack Program, which provides a food filled backpack every Friday to low income children who may not have access to nutritious meals on weekends and school holidays when the school lunch program is unavailable. Bob happily agreed and has since made even greater efforts to ensure the success of the program. In addition to packing 77 backpacks each week, Bob delivers these bags to 4 sites throughout Phillipsburg, plans the weekly menu, and keeps an inventory of program supplies. During his time working with the Backpack Program, Bob has really taken the program and the children it serves to heart. Although he does not know any of these children personally (a great deal of care is taken to protect the anonymity of the children participating in the program), Bob packs the bags with the loving care of a parent, worrying about the weight of the backpack and variety of foods available for the children. Bob has even bought special treats out of his own pocket to include in the backpacks for each child. Bob’s generosity to this program and the Food Bank doesn’t stop with his volunteer efforts. In addition to his own personal financial donations, Bob has encouraged his friends and family to lend their support, helping to raise nearly $5,000 for the Backpack Program this year. Since joining the NORWESCAP Food Bank family as a volunteer in 2005, Bob has logged more than 1,310 volunteer hours. He is always willing to help wherever and however he is needed and plays a vital role in the day to day operation of the NORWESCAP Food Bank. He does it all with a smile on his face and an attitude that endears him to everyone he meets. We feel extremely fortunate to have such a reliable and kind hearted individual involved with our organization. It is for this ongoing commitment and support provided in far too many ways to name, that we consider Bob Smagala a Hunger All-Star.