Shane Collins recently joined us as the 3SquaresVT Outreach Coordinator. 3SquaresVT is an important resource for families to obtain healthy, affordable foods. Unfortunately, the program is underutilized in Vermont, so the Vermont Foodbank is helping to increase participation in this federal nutrition program.

We asked Shane to tell us a little more about himself…it’s always interesting to learn about colleagues this way and we hope you can help us welcome him too!

So, Shane, tell us more about your job.

I have a great job! I get to travel all over Vermont and talk to people about the great benefits that 3SquaresVT offers. If they’re interested and eligible, I help them apply for the program. I’m also told that I have a desk somewhere, though I’ve yet to see it.

Shane CollinsWhen did you start working at the Foodbank?

I started working on the first week of May.

Where do you live, where are you from?

I live in a rural farmhouse in East Randolph on a Class 4 road – the same designation given to goat trails. It’s a long way from where I grew up in a suburb of New York City called Connecticut.

Can you tell us a little more about yourself, personally and/or professionally?

I’m a writer and just received my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. I’ve published a few short stories and am looking to publish my first novel soon. Being a writer, I naturally also like beer. On the weekends, I give tours at the Harpoon Brewery. Whenever I have an afternoon to myself, I like to homebrew. And I also have a blog where I write about local Vermont breweries. My wife and I also tend a large garden and seven laying hens.

If you could work in another Foodbank department or job for a day, what would it be and why?

I think I’d be interested in stealing Andrea’s job over in VT Fresh. She goes all over Vermont and does cooking and taste-test demonstrations, showing people how to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables. I love to cook and think it would be fun. But considering Andrea just won a prestigious award for the great work she’s doing, I don’t think she’s going anywhere anytime soon.

We know you’re new, but have you made a favorite memory yet?

I think my favorite memory so far was my first day working here. My coworkers made a colorful “Welcome Shane” sign and threw a mini party to celebrate my first day. It was the most welcoming “first day” I’ve ever had at a new job.

Tell us what you like about working at the Vermont Foodbank.

I love that I get to help people. The 3SquaresVT program is such a wonderful safety net for people facing financial hardship. I don’t like that people need to use it, but I’m happy it’s there and love that I get to be the one who helps them navigate the process.

Thanks, Shane, and welcome to the team!