Rob has been a huge help distributing commodity boxes in both Richford and Enosberg Falls. It’s great to know that we can count on him to be there every time and to put his whole heart into the task.

He is deeply committed to helping fight hunger and is always looking for ways to help us do it better. We are so grateful for the many ways that he helps us better serve the community.

Robert HackwellRob, where are you from originally?

Born in Albany, NY,  I was raised and educated in Michigan, and lived for a time in southern Ohio, where I met my wife many years ago when we both worked in a hospital.

So far I’ve lived half my life in northern New England, which my wife and I consider “home.”

Where do you live currently?

My wife, Carolyn, and I live in a condominium in Colchester, where we ‘right-sized’ from an overly-large, empty house to be closer to our son.

Please tell us more about yourself.

After college and the navy, I worked in education, state government, and banking, until finally finding my calling in healthcare administration. I ended my career working in oncology research in an acute clinical setting. Always a person of faith, I found the experience of working in cutting edge research strengthened my commitment to helping others.

Being an avid reader, history has always had special interest for me and I still love to travel. When I was younger, sailing was my passion and I still enjoy immensely watching from the shoreline.  I walk 3-4 miles every day and try to eat right as often as my willpower allows. 

Tell us about your favorite food/meal/recipe.

I love to eat just about anything and I am not a vegetarian. However, since being diagnosed with Type II diabetes last year, my choices have become much healthier and I can see many benefits from maintaining a healthy diet. Working with the Vermont Foodbank to deliver food helps underscore my appreciation of good nutrition.

How long have you been a volunteer with us?

I’ve been at the Vermont Foodbank since April, 2015. I started in the warehouse in Barre, but found my calling in the CSFP drops in Enosburg Falls and Richmond. Being able to help others meet their nutritional needs satisfies my desire to give something in return for my life’s many blessings. Whether working at the warehouse or “on the road,” I am always impressed by the commitment and dedication of the volunteers and staff of the Foodbank.

Describe the work that you do for the Vermont Foodbank.

Twice a month, I rendezvous with the truck from the Barre warehouse delivering CSFP boxes to recipients in towns near the Canadian border. I usually help unload the truck and distribute boxes of food staples to clients.  I also help with the distribution of ‘extras’ as they are available, including breads and fresh produce (in season).  I have gained immeasurably from the positive experience of interacting with clients who are appreciative and worthy of my time and caring.

truck for chris

Why did you choose to volunteer with the Vermont Foodbank?

There are so many people in need of life’s basic necessities and simply to know that others care; for some, hope is almost all they have left. In appreciation for my many blessings, the Foodbank provides a vehicle by which I can perform a simple act of service to others who have sometimes simply