Louise Hunter

For the past fifty years, Mother Hunter made it her life’s work, to help feed, and shelter the Racine,  WI community. Every morning during the school year, she is up at five-thirty cooking breakfast for the children to have a hot meal before they go to school. Every day she gives out food at 4:30 to help the needy families. Mother hunter is 75 years old.

Gerald Syrba

During National Volunteer Week this past April, Food Bank volunteer Gerald “Gerry” Syrba, was honored with the President’s Call to Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The honor is reserved for those who have volunteered 4,000 hours or more over a lifetime. Gerry reached that level last November, after 15 years of Food Bank volunteering. During his participation of working on assembling assorted food boxes, over 8,000 food boxes were made with some 240,000 pounds of food. Food Bank service alone qualified Gerry for the prestigious award, which includes a personalized certificate and letter from President Obama. However, “the Food Box King” doesn’t restrict his efforts to the Food Bank. He also donated time to the Spectrum Visiting Nurses Association and the Sight Seer Radio Reading Service for the blind. A retired teacher, Gerry is the father of four and grandfather of nine. He and his wife Fran live in Grand Rapids where, in addition to volunteering, he enjoys gardening, “but not so much mowing the lawn.”

Clair Halverson

Without the direction of our Childrens Back Pack Program lead volunteer, Clair Halverson, Feeding South Dakota and our Childrens Back Pack program would suffer in many ways.Clair faithfully comes to the Feeding South Dakota Food Bank every Wednesday afternoon to set up and lead the evenings activities. He welcomes the volunteers upon arrival. orientates them, and guides them in filling the stomachs of the 2769 children being served weekly by our Back Pack Program all in about three hours. Not to mention all the organizing it takes to make Wednesdays happen, numerous hours are spent at home in preperation. Clair has dedicated his time in perfecting the system that we have today in packing the”Back Packs”. Because the number of children from food insecure homes has risen so dramatically we have been forced to grow the program to feed the hungry children in our schools on the weekends when they have little access to food. Because of the programs rapid growth Clair has had to adapt and restructure the program several times. He smiles and never complains and always finds a way to make it happen!

Samaritan Christian Ministries

Samaritan Christian Ministry offers a variety of programs in order to send hope to those who truly need it. They have established a “Client Choice Pantry” to feed needy families. SCM started a Saturday delivery program, run primarily by volunteers, to deliver food to homebound families, the disabled, and the elderly. SCM also has a “BackPack Program”. This program provides enough food to children, who qualify for free school lunches, to last the weekend. Their mission is to “feed the hungry in Wilkes County”. The staff and loyal base of volunteers have for many years strived to make this mission a reality and in doing so have managed to become a beacon of hope for many people who struggle to put food on the table in these hard times. They are a reminder to those of us who are blessed that we too can make a difference and that when we come together as a community we can move mountains. Samaritan Christian Ministries often serves hot chicken meals on Saturdays and works hard to keep a source of protein in the Client Choice Pantry. Any food sent their way would be received with the greatest appreciation and seen as a blessing to the ministry and community.

Go Inspire Go

By Ed Nicholson

I met Toan Lam yesterday.  Toan’s an interesting guy.  A successful print and broadcoast reporter who has bypassed network opportunities to  found GoInspireGo.com, an organization dedicated to using social networking to inspire social change, Toan is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

The mission of GoInspireGo is to set up a global platform for people to see and share inspirational stories.

The group originally produced a video entry featuring 5 year-old Phoebe Russell for the Tyson/Tongal Hunger Relief video competition, .  As a result of that video, Phoebe was named a Tyson Hunger All-Star of the Month.

Toan’s message echoed the one we heard from Share Our Strength founder, Billy Shore when we first started becoming involved in hunger relief ten years ago:  Everyone has a strength to share.  Every single person’s capacity to effect change is valuable and incredibly potent.

Toan and GoInspireGo.com are extending the value and potency of individual contributions by telling inspiring stories in very visible, compellng ways.

Here’s a brief video interview I did with Toan in which he describes how he started the organization and what they do.