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Volunteer Spotlight: Vecna

Every morning, The Greater Boston Food Bank  (GBFB) opens their doors at 8:00 AM in anticipation of distributing approximately 955,000 pounds of food each month and the arrival of team members who help accomplish this. There is a special subset of workers though; a group of people that dedicate their time and energy for no material compensation. They are GBFB volunteers, who number in the hundreds week after week and are the lifeblood of our organization. They spend their time in the loading docks and sorting areas, volunteering a few hours of their day to ensure that those in need in their community have the food they need. Our volunteers come from all walks of life; students, corporate volunteers, and even former food pantry recipients come together with a common goal, to help End Hunger Here. Without fail, there is one organization that GBFB is pleased to see come through our doors every single week. This team of extraordinary people has amassed 457 volunteer visits and over 11,000 volunteer hours over the past year, leading both categories by a significant margin. Vecna Technologies (www.vecna.com), a healthcare IT and robotics company already in the business of helping others, is an organization that is incredibly aware of the power in numbers. They recognize that, with over 300 employees, they can make an enormous difference in their community by enabling these employees to dedicate a few hours of their week to community service. In fact, Vecna encourages each employee to dedicate 10% of their work week to serving their community. Led by their energetic and enthusiastic leader, Joseph Garcia, Vecna has been coming to the GBFB almost every week for the last two years. On a recent volunteer shift, Mr. Garcia simplistically explained his motivation for coming back each week, “Every box we process is another meal.” Each visit, Vecna strives to top their previous records for pallets emptied, pounds processed, and total hours donated. They emptied 16 pallets of food in one volunteer shift, and in one afternoon, a group of Vecna volunteers sorted 1,050 pounds of watermelons per person! They could not believe how much fresh produce GBFB distributes, let alone special products like watermelons. In total, volunteers from Vecna have spent over 11,000 hours in the past year at the GBFB! Vecna employees would be the first to tell you that the GBFB is hardly a run-of-the-mill food pantry; 26% of our 48 million pounds of food processed last year consisted of fresh fruits and vegetables! GBFB is incredibly proud of the folks at Vecna and hope that this relationship continues for years to come. Volunteers play a critical role in ending hunger by giving their time and talent to support the Greater Boston Food Bank. Last year, more than 25,000 volunteers worked a total of 62,000 hours, a contribution worth more than $1,000,000! Learn more about volunteering at The Greater Boston Food Bank here.

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