This fourth week in April is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to appreciate the work of our nation’s inspiring volunteers, to recognize their initiative and commitment, and to celebrate the positive John Sayles, CEO Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeurchange they impact in our local communities.

At the Vermont Foodbank, our volunteers help us pack, process, and distribute an astounding 8 million pounds of food annually. They are a vital part of the work we do from start to finish, sorting and packing food for redistribution to meal sites and food shelves, filling backpacks with nutritious food for school-aged kids to take home on weekends, harvesting fresh produce from local farms, conducting interviews to assess the needs of our neighbors, offering professional skills and services, and more. Without this energetic volunteer force, we would not be able to serve as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of emergency food assistance every year, 27,000 of whom are children.

This week at the Vermont Foodbank, we extend our deepest and most sincere gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who not only make us a more effective organization, but who also anchor us to our surrounding communities throughout Vermont. The value of volunteerism is not limited by its ability to increase organizational work-capacity; it breeds healthier, more engaged communities who feel empowered to mobilize the public in search of a better and more just society.

Together, let us commend the outstanding efforts of our volunteers, and let us continue to strive for a Vermont where no one will go hungry.

John Sayles

Vermont Foodbank CEO