Charity Pratt has been volunteering for the Vermont Foodbank once a week for the last five years. She has volunteered over 360 hours with us! Her dedication to helping us fight hunger is incredible. It’s great to know that we can rely on her every week to be here making a difference in people’s lives. Thank you so much Charity! We’ll let her tell you more…
I am originally from Morrisville, VT.
Where do you live?
I currently live in Montpelier and have lived here for nine years.
Tell us more about yourself.
I am married and have two boys aged 11 and 15. I work as a Critical Care Nurse in the ICU at CVMC. I have been there for almost nine years. I also work as a nutrition consultant independently and for CrossFit Waterbury. My interests are reading, and anything fitness/weightlifting or nutrition related. My passion is doing CrossFit and weightlifting. I love to compete in both areas and am gearing up for my first powerlifting competition this spring. I also play on a women’s soccer league each summer.
Please tell us about your favorite food, meal or recipe.
Not sure if I have a favorite food….my diet is pretty restricted. I have Celiac Disease which means I can’t eat any gluten and I’m also allergic to soy and eggs. My recipes by default are pretty simple, but I’m always game for Mexican food, especially nachos. I could probably eat Mexican food forever.
How long have you been a volunteer with us?
I have been volunteering once a week for just five years.
Describe the work that you do for the Vermont Foodbank.
When I first started, I worked in the kitchen packaging food, then did some prep work with Dave (I think he even let me cook once!). Since they have moved the kitchen offsite, I have been packaging up the coffee or whatever else needs to be done with Tina.
Dave Moyer is the Vermont Foodbank’s Assistant Chef Instructor at the Community Kitchen Academy in Barre. Tina Bevington is a Vermont Foodbank Driver and Warehouse Worker.
Why did you choose to volunteer with the Vermont Foodbank?
I had been donating money to the Vermont Foodbank every so often and I just thought that my time would be more valuable than a small check sent in every now and then. I wanted to do some good in the community. I quickly grew to love the people I was working with and looked forward to coming every week.
What have you learned through your experience here?
I have learned a lot about food insecurity and the hard work that is done every day to fix this. It makes me happy that everyone is working together to make sure no one goes hungry. Nutrition is such a critical piece in everyone’s life and I think sometimes we take for granted that we can just go to the store and get whatever we want whenever we want it. Unless you have been in those shoes of someone who can’t, it’s hard to imagine. It also matters what you eat and I love seeing the tons and tons of fresh produce that comes in to be distributed. It’s not just about getting food, it matters that it’s healthy food.
Was there ever anyone in your life who inspired you to give back or volunteer? And how did that have an impact on your life?
I actually don’t. I will say that my time with the Foodbank has inspired some of my friends and coworkers to seek out volunteer opportunities, which makes me proud. I just want to set a good example for my children so that they can see the good in helping others and help out my community. Food insecurity is an awful thing to have to deal with and if I can contribute some support to helping remedy this, I’m all for it.
Describe a favorite memory of your time volunteering with us.
Not sure if I have a favorite memory, but I always had a great time working in the kitchen with Dave. I was sad to see him go, but thoroughly enjoy working with Tina. And whenever I come in, I’m always greeted by Patrick’s smiling face. I am always delighted when a card shows up in the mail signed by everyone, either for Christmas or volunteer week or just because, showing they appreciate my help.
Dave Moyer used to work in the kitchen in our Barre facility, but that kitchen was moved to downtown Barre, into the Capstone Community Action facilities in 2012. Dave went with the kitchen, though he is still a Vermont Foodbank employee. Learn more about our CKA partnerships here.
We asked Charity for an update on her latest powerlifting competition too:
I got 1st place in my weight class at the meet. I got new PR’s (personal records) in the squat (222#) and dead lift (284#), but I failed my 3rd bench press attempt at 143# – I did get 132#, though.
All this heavy lifting comes in handy with lugging all those giant boxes of coffee around!!
Thank you, Charity, for lending us your muscle!
National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 12-18. We’d like to take this opportunity – on the blog, with social media, in person and at our facilities – to thank the volunteers that help us serve our neighbors in need. Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.