MARY ZWOLINSKI, Executive Director
Board member since 2007, employee since 2012
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
As the Executive Director of Wayside, I oversee things on a macro level-finances, development, strategic planning, HR, etc.  I work closely with the Wayside team to ensure that the details of the day to day programs and operations are successful.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
We prioritize respect for all the people we work with.
 
All of the food we provide through all of our programs is free-we do not charge partner agencies or individuals for anything.
 
The Wayside staff is dedicated to our community.  Our Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that Wayside offers meaningful compensation, reflecting the values and respect we bring to the work we do and the people we work with.  Only one person has left their job here in the last 5 years-that tells me we’re doing something right.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I believe access to food is a right of all people.   Wayside makes that as easy as possible while ensuring that the food we share with our community is nutritious and culturally-appropriate.
 

JUDY ANAMAN, Administrative Specialist
Employee since 2010
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
My primary role is to make sure we have all the necessary supplies needed for our office, warehouse, and kitchen.  I am also responsible for updating records from our programs.   As the Office Administrator I pay bills, maintain accounting records, and take care of banking.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
Wayside has a small dedicated staff who are motivated by their commitment to our community members.
 
This dedication to individuals has enabled Wayside to attract many wonderful and caring long-term volunteers.  One of our annual events is a celebration of their work to make sure they know how much they are appreciated.  We also take our responsibility to folks who need to do court-appointed community service seriously, and welcome them without judgment.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I have been working for many years, previously only within the business sector: law, accounting, insurance, etc.  I finally realized I wanted to experience the nonprofit world.  When I decided to come back to Portland after a year away, the only place I wanted to be was helping Wayside serve lunch at the soup kitchen.  Six years ago, I was hired full-time in Wayside’s office.  Another great thing about working at Wayside: NO DRESS CODE!
 

NICK DESOUZA, Warehouse Manager
Volunteer since 2009, employee since 2014
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
As Warehouse Manager, I receive and store donations.  I help coordinate getting donations, especially perishable food, out to community members that need it as quickly as possible. I oversee our warehouse volunteers, and work with them to keep the space clean and organized.  I also oversee our Mobile Food Pantry program and work with volunteers to pack bags for it.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
I think the Mobile Food Pantry Program is an important example of how Wayside works in partnership with other agencies and our neighbors.
 
Each month, in partnership with the Maine Department of Agriculture and Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA), Wayside distributes supplemental groceries to 340 low-income seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) with 10 partner sites across Cumberland County.  We even have dedicated volunteers who drive groceries for 100 seniors to Bridgton, Naples, Raymond, and Windham.
 
Even the food that we can’t share with people is donated to pig farmers, creating very little stress on the waste stream.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
There's a great staff that cares about the people we work with. I also like that nearly every day is different, I never know what my day will hold. It's very gratifying knowing your job really does make a difference in people's lives.
 

RACHEL FREEDMAN, AmeriCorps VISTA
Volunteer since 2015, AmeriCorps volunteer since 2016
 
What’s your role at Wayside?
 
I am Wayside’s new AmeriCorps VISTA member. The VISTA program is a national service program targeted at eliminating poverty through capacity building positions at nonprofits, grassroots organizations and local government agencies.   My role is to help strengthen and expand Wayside’s capacity, such that once my service year is over, the organization can sustain this growth while continuing to serve our community.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
Everything Wayside does is a collaboration within a network of community partners and volunteer groups.  Wayside serves as a resource and connector but it is the rest of the community that enables us to get things done.
 
Everyone who walks through the door at Wayside is welcomed warmly and given complete respect. I’ve been introduced to so many people in a short period of time and no matter what your role in the community or your relationship to the organization, first-time volunteer, long-time volunteer, Board Member, community meal participant, pantry coordinator, or you just wandered into the office off the street, everyone is treated the same. This is one of Wayside’s goals, blending the lines between the traditional “giver” and “recipient” approach. We are all community members, making sure everyone is supported, appreciated and has what they need.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
Before I started my VISTA term at Wayside, I volunteered for over a year as a kitchen supervisor for a reoccurring volunteer group of young people from LearningWorks' Youth Building Alternatives. I got to know the staff, other volunteers and met so many people throughout our community. I was also able to gain an understanding of the operations by volunteering for the Mobile Food Pantry and participating in, and enjoying, Community Meals. I was hooked! Wayside has built a positive reputation for themselves after 30 years of service, but amidst all the established programming, there is still an active vision for how the organization can grow and become more efficient. Wayside’s mentality that anyone can participate in creating change in our community is why I chose to serve my VISTA year here. Not to mention, the staff and volunteers alike know that you produce your best work when you are having fun!
 

EMILY GRIFFIN, Community Meals Assistant
Employee since 2016
 
What’s your role at Wayside?
 
My role at Wayside serves to help with community meals preparation and delivery. I assist in the kitchen with cooking and assembling the components of the meals, as well as with kitchen organization and cleanup. I also deliver food to 13 out of the 14 meals around the greater Portland area on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
I believe that Wayside aims to create and support community structure through access to good, healthy food all while maintaining a sustainable system within the organization. Utilizing resources from food rescues ensures our mission of food security in our community, and allows for delicious meals. The kitchen composts our bits and pieces through Garbage to Garden, and recycles nearly all of our excess waste. From large food rescues to small acts of composting each day, we are really able to close these "loops" that typically remain as gaps in the food system.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I think that sharing food is one of the greatest forces that bring people together. I am so lucky to see that at work every day at my job. Also, the sense of welcome that anyone and everyone experiences at Wayside is some sort of magic. No matter who you interact with, the people who are affiliated with the organization are deeply kind and thoughtful.
 

LAURA HAMILTON, Development Assistant & Metrics Coordinator
Began as AmeriCorps volunteer in 2009, employee since 2010
 
What’s your role at Wayside?
 
I hold Wayside accountable to our community through record keeping and impact assessment.  It might sound a little boring if you don’t find spreadsheets exciting, except that at the heart of what I do is telling the stories of how folks are coming together to share the abundance of our community.  My job is to use the data to celebrate, encourage, and remind folks that every single one of us is an important and valuable part of our community.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
Everything we do at Wayside is done in partnership with other individuals and organizations in our community.
 
Our work is just as much about food and nourishing bodies as it is about nourishing social connections.
 
There are no prerequisites, means-tests, or eligibility requirements to participate in our programs.  Everyone is actively and enthusiastically welcomed.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I choose to work here because Wayside isn’t a traditional charity model.  Wayside’s mission intentionally states that we are guided “by a deep compassion for our common humanity.”  We don’t approach our work as providing services to “needy people.” We all have needs, but that’s only part of who we are.    Sharing food is a profoundly joyful and sacred opportunity to be in companionship with each other.  It helps us to overcome our differences in a spirit of mutuality.  Each of our staff, board members, volunteers, and community partners are dedicated to finding ways to use food to build connections.  
 

JULIE HARRISON, Community Meals Manager
Volunteer since 2010, employee since 2013
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
My role is to ensure that the Community Meals run smoothly and provide welcoming and supportive environments for everyone involved.  I train, support, and offer ongoing guidance to Community Meals host sites and volunteers.  I am a liaison between the host sites and Wayside staff, making sure we prepare enough food and each site has the supplies it needs.  I also assist with the strategic expansion of the Community Meals program.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
The Community Meals program depends upon more than 300 dedicated volunteers each month to take care of the logistics of each meal service.  Just as importantly, these volunteers create and nurture wonderful relationships with our guests.
 
Community Meals provide more than thoughtfully prepared meals.  Our Community Meals program also establishes safe places for the creation of friendships and builds supportive community.
 
Our strong partnerships and the investment of our Community Meal host sites is critical in making this all possible.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I believe in community support as a pathway to health.  Sharing meals together is a great way to achieve that.
 

CARLY MILKOWSKI, Resource Coordinator
Began as AmeriCorps volunteer in 2010, employee since 2011
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
I coordinate our volunteer program, plan menus, and run our community kitchen.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
Planning menus at Wayside is little like the show Iron Chef - we work with donated food and never know what we’re going to get in a given week.  It may be 3,000 chickens, fresh fish from a local market, or venison from a hunter. It’s a fun challenge to get creative with what we have.
 
We are incredibly fortunate to have many wonderful donors, including lots of farmers, gardeners, and gleaners who help us stock our pantries and kitchen with beautiful fresh produce all summer long.
 
We’re serious about cutting down on food waste at Wayside.  Even the food that isn’t suitable for human consumption doesn’t end up in the waste stream.  We work with local pig farmers and Garbage to Garden to turn our excess food into animal feed or compost.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I work at Wayside because I believe in creating a just food system where food isn’t wasted and everyone has access to good, healthy food.
 

DON MORRISON, Operations Manager
Employee since 2009
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
I am responsible for all the day to day operations.  Each day is different and very rarely will you find me sitting still. I make sure everyone is conducting their roles and responsibilities correctly and efficiently. Another big part of my job is procuring food to distribute through our Food Rescue program.  I coordinate getting that food to our warehouse and redistributing it to our partner agencies. I also fill in for staff in the kitchen, warehouse, and on the road picking up or delivering food. 
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
In addition to increasing access to nutritious food in our community, Wayside feels it is just as important to strengthen our community through our Community Meal sites by using food to bring people together.
 
Most of the food we distribute to pantries and use in Community Meals is recovered through the Food Rescue program.  Not only are we using food to feed people, we keep millions of pounds of edible food out of the waste stream.
 
Wayside is incredibly proficient and creative at leveraging our food, volunteers, and other resources to make the greatest impact in our community.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
In addition to believing in Wayside’s mission, the best part of my job is all the people I connect with on a daily basis.  In a typical day I might interact with volunteers, community members, donors, board members, and of course my fellow Wayside colleagues.  I don’t know of many jobs where I would have the opportunity to connect with such a diverse group of people.
 

CHRIS WILKES, Food Rescue Assistant
Employee since 2016
 
What is your role at Wayside?
 
My role as Wayside is to pick up weekly donations and assist around the warehouse. I also lend a hand with the CSFP distribution once a month.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
I’d like people to know that Wayside is truly a wonderful non-profit. From day one I could tell that the employees and volunteers cared immensely about their roles within the agency. I believe that passion is infectious and necessary to push forward with the organization's mission.
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
I work at Wayside because I want to help my community. It’s eye opening to see how much food gets wasted in today’s society. With that said, it feels good to know that I’m involved with an organization that tries to minimize food waste and get it to the people that truly need it.