Warehouse and food rescue volunteer John Fish talks about his Wayside experience.

What work do you do for Wayside?

I work in the warehouse. Every Monday, Carly Milkowski and I pick up food from Hannaford, Whole Foods, and other supporters. We then return to the warehouse and sort and put away the food. If there are any other odd jobs, such as sorting food from food drives, I do that as needed.

How did you get involved?

I volunteer at a food pantry in Gray – the Gray Auxiliary Food Pantry. I was coming down once a month to pick up food at Wayside. After seeing Wayside’s food rescue operation and how they were keeping food from going to waste and getting it into the hands of people who really need it, I decided to help. Since the Gray Pantry was getting some of that food, it seemed only natural that I help out getting it.

What do you think Wayside is achieving?

Wayside is doing two remarkable things! First, they are feeding people that need it, at the grass roots level. There’s no bureaucracy – if a pantry needs food and Wayside has it – they get it. Second, they are keeping food from going to waste – thousands of pounds of it a month.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

I actually enjoy everything I do at Wayside. I leave there feeling better about myself. The people are dedicated, fun to work with, and care.

What is the most challenging part of being a volunteer?

Seeing how many people need help and are ignored and marginalized by our society. I get frustrated that some people don’t care about people who have almost nothing. If only those people could spend a day at Wayside and see what happens there.

What would you say to anyone thinking about volunteering?

If you are thinking about volunteering, JUST DO IT! I can honestly say that I am not the same person that I was before I got involved with the Gray Food Pantry and Wayside. I feel better about myself and about other people. My sense of self-worth has gone up, and I like to think that I am a better person for doing it. Interestingly enough, I think that I’ve gotten more out of this experience than I’ve put into it.

What do you think volunteers take away from their time at Wayside?

Satisfaction and the knowledge that they are doing a good thing.