Preparing the food bank for opening on Saturday mornings requires an eye for detail and an organized mind. Haley Nuttman, a sophomore at SOTA and regular volunteer at the Blessing, has both. She spends the few rushed minutes before guests arrive sorting through the produce, tossing the spoiled tomatoes and bruised cucumbers into a bucket to throw away. She helps sort the bread into categories—white, wheat, and everything else—and then heads to the bagging table as the guests start to come through the line. And she loves it.
I had a chance to talk with Haley about her experience volunteering and why she keeps coming back to help.
How long have you been volunteering?
“I’ve been volunteering at the Blessing for a little over two years. Mainly it’s for school, but I first started because I love helping people,” she says with a smile. Her mom, Carol, and her stepdad Derrick, are also regular volunteers. Haley’s planning on using her volunteer hours for her senior project at SOTA.
What’s your main job or position when you help out on Saturdays?
“My primary job is helping people bag their groceries,” she says. Haley also helps prepare the food beforehand, making sure the produce is fresh and helping to bag the baked goods from Panera.
For the past couple of weeks, the Blessing has had a larger amount of food to give away because of food drives over the holidays. How do you think that will bless the families that come this week?
“It helps the families because we can double up the amount we can give them, and they can have more to last the holiday season. That way they can have as much food as they want on Christmas, and still have food leftover for the week.”
Do you think the food bank is making an impact in the community?
“Yeah, it is. We see a lot of new people come in every week. And then we have some that return.”
What’s the best part for you about volunteering?
“The best part is just the emotional reward that you receive. Just having the feeling that you helped somebody, and that you’re getting food to them.”
Helping out at the Blessing on Saturday mornings has become a regular activity for many of our volunteers including Haley, and we are grateful for their donation of time. Together, we are reaching many people in our community. If you are interested in volunteering, see our support page.