April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. What better time to spotlight our HVAF employees as they share, in their own words, their unique volunteer experiences in the community. All month long, we’ll be sharing their stories on the HVAF blog.
Meet Emmy Hildebrand. She’s HVAF’s Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator.
For several years, I volunteered through the Office of Senator Richard Lugar at Gleaner’s Food Bank, both located in Indianapolis. Gleaner’s Food Bank’s goal is to provide local food banks with supplies who then in turn distribute to additional food banks that need help filling their shelves. I was a volunteer from 2005 until 2012, and helped collect food donations for food drives as well as sort the food at the food bank’s warehouse. However, in 2012, I was able to take a team of interns along as a part of the Gleaner’s Mobile Food Bank. Our group took a box truck of food to a church parking lot on the south side of Indianapolis and stayed for several hours handing out food to those who were in need. This experience was an incredible one because we were able to physically hand a family a large box of food knowing that we were helping to meet the family’s basic needs. We often don’t think about hunger in our town; it always seems like more of a far-away problem. However, 15% of Hoosier households are food insecure. Too many of our neighbors and children at the local elementary schools don’t have enough to eat. The interns and I left the church parking lot that day feeling extremely fortunate for the lives that we helped and the lives that we get to live each day.