We like introducing Vermont Foodbank staff, the folks who keep the food moving to neighbors in need, here on the blog. Today, we’d like to feature Eric Selmer who works in the Brattleboro Distribution Center.
What’s your job title and department?
Driver / Warehouse
Please describe your job for us.
I drive for the Vermont Foodbank, but also so much more. I’m the eyes and ears and a representative for the Foodbank in the field. I talk with agencies to find out what their needs are and try to fulfill them. I talk with people when I hand out CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Program) boxes to find out what their needs are, or I will pray for them. I feel like we are one big family and try to look out for each other. I always try to give out extras. For a lot of these people, this is a big boost in their food budget for the month. I work with volunteers and try to recruit them. I have one person in particular that rides with me when I do deliveries in Bennington. His name is Pat Martin. He has been a blessing and a big help and a wealth of information. I also talk with people about 3SquaresVT and hand out Sally Ingraham’s contact cards.
When did you start working at the Foodbank?
In the Spring of 2013.
Where do you live, where are you from?
I live in the lovely town of West Chesterfield NH, with my wife Sherry. I am really a native to NH and I lived my younger years in the South Shore of Massachusetts.
Can you tell us a little more about yourself, personally and professionally?
I love the outdoors. My wife and I have a small cabin by the Connecticut River and right behind our cabin is Mount Wantastiquet and Pisgah State Park, so we do a lot of hiking and canoeing. We love to bird watch, there is a lot of bird activity in the Connecticut River Valley.
I have been in the building trades most of my life, from foundations to timber framing. My wife and I also bought houses fixed them up and sold them. We are both entrepreneurs. We have had six businesses. The newest one is more to do with philanthropy: we buy jewelry, handbags and other hand-crafted items from non-profits and organizations in third world countries that help better the lives of others. Check it out. www.blackmtntradingco.com
If you could work in another Foodbank department or job for a day, what would it be and why?
It would be to drive and talk with agencies and also help people in need.
What’s one of your favorite memories, so far, from working here?
That’s a hard question to ask me because every day I go out there is a favorite memory for me. I have sooooo many!
Tell us what you like about working at the Vermont Foodbank.
The mission statement!
I like the people I work with but also the Agencies and the people I come in contact with when I’m out there in the field. I feel very blessed and thank God every day that I can do it all over again.
Thank you, Eric, for answering our questions!
ADDITIONAL NOTE FROM ERIC:
It wasn’t too long ago I was asked to write my bio [for this blog post]. Well for those who know and those of you who don’t know: about two months ago, I was diagnosed with a very aggressive large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This was confirmed by a second consultation at Dana Farber in Boston, MA. I was told I was to start treatment right away. The treatment is going to be 18 weeks total if all goes well with three weeks of radiation after.
That set me back a few steps. All the plans I had in my mind stopped. It all happened so fast I didn’t know where to start. But I changed my perspective from looking at it with my MIND and started looking at this situation with my HEART. I turned it into a spiritual retreat and, boy, I’m glad I did. This time has been a revival for me. I know deep down that we are one big family not as the mind thinks but what the heart thinks. I know this for sure, for the Vermont Foodbank has gone way above to help support one of their siblings, me. Also I had so much support from the agencies I work with. If that doesn’t sound like family then I don’t know what is.
As I sit here healing from the chemo treatment, one word comes to my HEART: that is LOVE. My creed every day is in 1Corinthians 13:1-13. That is the greatest gift anyone can have. My plan is to be back in running July 1st. Can’t wait to see my family.
Thank you & God Bless. Eric.