Shows the Positive Impact of One Volunteer
Gary Barker sorts canned goods on a recent afternoon at the Foodbank's Repackaging Center.
When Gary Barker, associate professor of theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Saint Louis University, moved to St. Louis last summer, one of his goals in moving to a more metropolitan area was to explore greater opportunities for volunteering.
"My faith belief system calls me to consider and address the needs of the hungry," says Gary
"My life has been so privileged.
I want to expand my world vision to be more concerned about hunger.
One of the reasons I decided to accept a teaching position at SLU
was because the institution fosters the kind of service mentality that I would like to further in my life."
Soon after arriving in St. Louis, Gary did an on-line search for volunteer opportunities with organizations that minister to the hungry, which is how he found the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
Gary works in the Repackaging Center on Tuesday afternoons, usually averaging about three days a month because faculty meetings or classes sometimes require him to reschedule.
Each time Gary works at the Repackaging Center, he does something different.
has packaged loose pasta, labeled jars of marinated mushrooms, checked expiration dates on health products, and sifted through boxes of mixed items, sorting things into categories.
"After each of my volunteer sessions, Brett, the coordinator, gives me a sheet indicating how much food I helped process during that time and how many people that helps feed for a day," says Gary.
is a great example of the big difference each Foodbank volunteer can make in just a few hours time.
The St. Louis Area Foodbank
relies on the generosity of people, like Gary
, who are willing to set aside time to help their community.