“Lucy Wollaeger has been a special volunteer for the Vermont Foodbank gleaning program. Not only has she been a great gleaner, working diligently and thoughtfully, but she deeply cares about the work being done at the Vermont Foodbank. Her dedication towards getting local, fresh vegetables to neighbors in need is inspiring and shown is through her volunteer work,” says Andrea Solazzo, Gleaning and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Foodbank.

So we wanted to ask Lucy a few questions and get to know her better. We enjoy learning about our volunteers and all of their other experiences and interests!

Vermont Foodbank Volunteer Profile: Lucy WollaegerLucy, where are you from and where do you currently live?

I’m originally from southern Minnesota. I presently live in Calais, VT

Tell us a little more about yourself (profession, hobbies, family, interests, etc.).

I’m retired from a long career as an emergency medicine provider. I’m married and have one grown son. My husband and I grow much of our food and use our root cellar for winter storage. We have raised some animals for meat, including chicken, pork, and beef. I enjoy gardening, cooking, playing and listening to music, doing artwork, reading, tennis, and skiing. I have a passion for vegetables, and much of my artwork features those grown in my garden.

Do you have a favorite food, meal or recipe?

My favorite foods are vegetables, fresh or cooked. I especially enjoy them in stir fry dishes, salads, or soups. Curried onions and cauliflower is a special treat! I enjoy taking whatever is ripe in the garden and planning a meal around it. My favorite cookbooks are divided into sections according to the vegetable featured in each recipe. I have found that various internet sites also have many interesting ideas for how to use vegetables.

How long have you been a volunteer with us? And please describe what you do.

I’ve been a gleaning volunteer for about 5 years and I’m now learning to do Foodshelf cooking demonstrations.

Why did you choose to volunteer with the Vermont Foodbank?

I have an interest in helping people eat a healthy diet, including vegetables, and helping them learn some cooking skills so that they can enjoy eating them.

What have you learned through your experience here?

I have learned how many people go hungry in this state and how great is the need for providing healthy food for those that are hungry. I have become much more aware that many people in need of food are lacking cooking skills, and that therefore they are not able to use the most basic and available food provided by the Foodbank in their diets. I have also learned that the Foodbank has developed a network of successful programs to help bridge these gaps in the community.

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’ve been influenced by friends in the community who do a variety of volunteering.

Do you have a favorite memory of your time volunteering with us?

Most sessions are memorable. There is always a new crop to glean and a new mix of volunteers to meet. It’s fun to do physical work outdoors, helping with a project that has a practical goal. It’s a refreshing and satisfying way to be involved as a volunteer.

Anything else you’d like to add?

The combination of gathering healthy food through gleaning, helping people get access to this local produce, and suggesting ways to use it in cooking tasty meals really appeals to me.

Thank you, Lucy, for sharing your passion for food, veggies and gleaning with us. We appreciate your support!

We always need more volunteers. Learn about the many opportunities to get involved here.