Ethel Shepherd, Hunger All-Star of the Month

By Ed Nicholson

 

 

Ethel Shepherd

Ethel Shepherd is the Tyson Hunger All-Star of the Month for October. You can read Ethel’s inspiring story here, but in brief, for the past 25 years, she has been collecting and distributing food for those at risk of hunger in her home town of Mountain Grove, Missouri. 
In the past nine years, as Tyson Foods has become increasingly involved in hunger relief, we’ve encountered hundreds of "Ethels" around the country: inspiring people who are working selflessly, innovatively and creatively to end hunger in their own communities.   We created the Hunger All-Star program to honor and recognize the work of these people.  Because they deserve it. Because they inspire others to become involved. Because they make a difference.
Perhaps you know someone like Ethel. We would encourage you to nominate them here as a Hunger All-Star.  Even if they’re not selected as a Hunger All-Star of the Month,  if they’ve made a valid contribution, we’ll put your nomination up on this site as recognition.  If they are selected as Hunger All-Star of the Month, the Feeding America food bank serving their area will receive a truckload of Tyson products, donated in their honor.
On Monday, Ethel Shepherd received the Hunger All-Star of the Month Award at Ozarks Food Harvest Food Bank in Springfield.  She honored us all by celebrating her 80th birthday at the award ceremony.  And she’s still going strong. 

Ann Bumgardner–Hunger All-Star of the Month

Each week, more than 3,000 hungry residents in Raleigh receive a meal that includes fresh and nutritious foods because of the passion and tenacity that Ann Bumgardner brings to the fight against hunger. Today Tyson Foods recognized the impact that Ann’s volunteer work has made in the lives of families in North Carolina and selected her as the next Tyson Hunger All-Star, an honor that comes with a donation of more than 15 tons of protein to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. 

Ann’s volunteerism is an excellent example of the Tyson Hunger All-Star program’s belief that one person can make a difference in the fight against hunger. After retiring from a career as an occupational therapist and raising five sons, Ann found a new calling. Each day she travels to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle to “work the Market.”

In 2007 the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle recovered 5.7 million pounds of food and provided it free of charge to soup kitchens, church pantries, shelters and other human-service organizations. The single largest food donor is the North Carolina State Farmers Market—providing 1.5 million pounds of perishable food annually—and nearly all of that food is directly attributable to the hard work of Ann Bumgardner.

Bill and Bob Boyer Selected as Hunger All-Stars of the Month

LIMA, Ohio, June 17, 2008 – Bob and Bill Boyer dedicate themselves each week to helping the hungry in Lima. Today Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) recognized the difference that Bob and Bill’s volunteer work has made in the lives of families in Ohio and selected the Boyers as the next Hunger All-Stars, an honor that comes with a donation of more than 15 tons of protein to the West Ohio Food Bank. 

The Boyer’s volunteerism is an excellent example of the Hunger All-Star program’s belief that one person, and one family, can make a difference in the fight against hunger. Bob celebrated his 80th birthday this year, and three days each week brings his son Bill to the food bank to volunteer. Bill is wheelchair bound and Bob helps his son navigate from the car to the volunteer assignment for the day.

Ruth Wade–Hunger All-Star Extraordinaire

Libby Lawson, Tyson VP media and community relations; Ruth Wade, Hunger All-Star; Lynn Brantley, president and CEO, Capital Area Food Bank

Ruth Wade has made helping people in her community a life’s work. Her community involvement began in the 1950s when she taught people in need how to cook surplus food. Today Tyson Foods recognized the difference that Ruth’s volunteer work has made in the lives of families and selected Wade as the next “Hunger All-Star,” an honor that comes with a donation of more than 15 tons of protein to America’s Second Harvest – The Nation’s Food Bank Network agency.  When told of her distinction and truckload of Tyson products coming to the Capital Area Food Bank, Wade thought of this gift to the food banks as a way she most wanted to celebrate her next birthday.

Ruth’s work is the perfect example of the “Hunger All-Star” program’s belief that one person can make a difference in the fight against hunger. In 1996 Ruth took over as coordinator of the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church food program, which feeds more than 100 people every month. Ruth says that her program helps to meet a tremendous social need for people in crisis. “Sometimes they come just for the hug, just for the love,” said Wade. While maintaining a ready supply of food and other resources may be a constant challenge for Wade, her contagious smile is always in abundant supply. With the energy of someone half her age, she shows little sign of giving up looking forward to serving the next hungry person who may walk through the church’s doorway.

At the awards ceremony, Ruth left us with some simple, but profound wisdom that exemplifies the humanity in her humanitarian work:  “In my experience people are not only happy to get food, they are happy to be treated as people.   I care about people not just  because they are hungry but because they are people.”

Dan McClosky, Hunger All-Star, Earns a Truckload of Food for Alameda

l to r: Justin Clark, representing Tyson Foods/Acosta; Dan McClosky; Suzan Bateson, Executive Director of the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

For more than nine years, Oakland resident Dan McClosky has worked tirelessly to help feed the hungry in the Bay area, raising money and collecting food through local synagogues for the annual Holiday Dinner Drive. To date, he has raised more than $293,000 for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. For his efforts, Tyson Foods, Inc.  has named McClosky a “Hunger All-Star of the Month,” an honor that comes with a 1,000-pound donation of protein to his favorite charity and more than 15 tons of protein to the Food Bank, the organization that nominated him.