Sometimes we say that Foodbank staff are the ones who “keep the food moving” to network partners across the state. Well, today we’re profiling a staff member who keeps the food coming in.

Tom Abbiati is the Director of Food Resources and he’s been with us for almost 15 years. We asked him to answer a few questions, and we’re happy to share his responses with you.

Tom AbbiatiTom, give us the basics first: title and department.

Director of Food Resources working with the Operations team.

Please describe your job for us.

I oversee the Food Sourcing department, working with local and national donors trying to keep the food flowing into the Foodbank; I also oversee our COOP program to maintain a well-rounded variety of food to offer to our Network Partners. My newest role is being part of the food safety team, ensuring we offer the safest product we can.

When did you start working at the Foodbank?

My first day November 1st 2004.

Where do you live and where are you from?

My wife Gloria and I have lived in Plainfield for over 20 years.  I was born in Barre and grew up in Montpelier.

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

My career has always revolved around food, starting as a Manager at the Wayside Restaurant then as the owner of Chadwick’s Restaurant in Montpelier.  I then moved on to food sales with Sysco Food service of Albany and now here at the Foodbank.  My wife Gloria and I have been married for 29 years and enjoy cooking and backyard barbecuing.

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

I’m fortunate that my duties cross many departments, so I’ve worked on the trucks with our transportation staff, visited many of our awesome network partners around the state, and helped organize and participate in special events. The one department I would like to work in would have to be FTHR (Finance, Technology and Human Resources). While I interact with them every day, I know the least about their work.  

What’s one of your favorite memories, so far, from working here?

I have so many! Going to our first School Pantry drop and seeing the looks on the kid’s faces when they saw all the fresh produce available to them. Or the time we organized a food drop to the community in the Northeast Kingdom after the paper mill closed knowing we were helping at a stressful time in their lives. Mostly I remember the people I’ve had the privilege of working with over the years: coworkers, donors and community members. 

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

When I come to work every day I get to be part of an awesome team that is as passionate as I am about our mission. Very few jobs I know of can directly impact every community in the state in such a positive manner! It can’t get any better that!

Thanks, Tom, for sharing your story and for being both a great colleague and a strong supporter of our mission!