Daily Bread's volunteers - you lot - are the oxygen that breathes life into the Pantry. You may find this hard to believe, but I spend 91% of my Pantry time thinking about the volunteer experience. The other 23% I divide equally between thinking about our guests, thinking about donors, and polishing up my math skills.
If that seems odd - surely it is obvious that we should put our guests foremost - I would just say this. Without volunteers, we would not be able to help a single guest. Without cheerful, motivated, and committed volunteers, the guest experience would be massively diminished. Happy volunteers make coming to the Pantry fun, at least for me. Engaged volunteers come up with great suggestions to improve what we do. An army of incredibly hard-working, dedicated volunteers even provides donors with assurance that their dollars will be put to good use.
Here are a few of my favorite photos from 2021. Some of you are represented more than others. Most - 176 volunteers spent time at the Pantry this year - are not represented at all. As a Pantry photographer, I give myself a failing grade. But pictured or not, I love you all, to borrow our spotlighted volunteers catchphrase. Thank you for everything you do.