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 BAKELMUN, Community Meals Assistant
Employee since 2018
 
What’s your role at Wayside?
 
As the Community Meals Assistant at Wayside, I help assemble, prepare and deliver our Monday, Tuesday and Thursday community meals.
 
What would you like people to know about Wayside?
 
Wayside isn't just about food. Food insecurity affects more than peoples' nutrition - everything is compounded by an empty stomach. When we help increase someone's access to food, that person is then able to focus more energy on themselves, their family and their community. 
 
Organizations like Wayside do not exist in isolation. We rely on many dedicated volunteers and partners for our programs to run. Every ounce of support we receive from the community is weighed and redistributed as efficiently as possible. If you ever feel appreciative for organizations like Wayside, first thank yourself and your neighbors - then you can stop by and thank us!
 
Why do you work at Wayside?
 
Wayside has gone through many evolutions over the past 32 years of service. The communities we serve have changes, and we have changed with them. I am proud to work for an organization that has been around for such a long time and has never stopped asking "how can we improve ourselves?" and "how can we better serve our community?"
 

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, Wayside distributes supplemental groceries to over 1,000 low-income seniors through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) with many partner sites across Cumberland County.  We have dedicated volunteers who drive groceries to 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, Special Project & Communications Manager
Volunteer since 2015, AmeriCorps VISTA 2016-17, employee since 2017
 
What’s your role at Wayside?
 
My role is split into a few different focuses. We are the managing agency of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), a USDA senior food assistance program. I run this program for Cumberland, Oxford and York Counties. Another part of my job is communications. I get to share the story of what we do and highlight those we work with. I also plan events for Wayside, which is a great way to put into practice our collaborative nature. 
 
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?
 
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 even more closely aligned with our core values. I also appreciate the organization's mentality that anyone can participate in creating change in our community. Not to mention, the staff and volunteers alike know that you produce your best work when you are having fun!
 

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.