Volunteer Recognition – Debbie Pulente

This month, we recognize Food Bank volunteer Debbie Pulente!

Debbie has been volunteering in our food bank for many years now. She volunteers during food bank days as an intake worker, and acts as the food bank’s unofficial IT person.

“Without her, we would not be as efficient as we are,” said food bank coordinator Fran Barker. “She spends endless hours setting up the programs we use, she troubleshoots all the issues we throw at her, and always does it with grace. Nothing is ever too much!”

Fellow food bank volunteer Pat Mathews also commends Debbie’s troubleshooting skills, adding that Debbie is “pleasant, helpful, knowledgeable, and goes beyond what’s expected of her.”

Perhaps what Debbie is most known for around the food bank, though, is the packages she puts together known fondly as “Debbie’s Meals.”

“She spends endless hours making up special packaged meals, with the recipes included, from donated bulk items the food bank receives that would normally be passed over as they do not fit our regular food bank criteria,” said Fran. “Because of this, there is never anything wasted.”

Many of the regular food bank clients know about Debbie’s Meals and will put in specific requests. Pat recalls one particular time that one of Debbie’s packages made a client’s day.

“I remember a time when a single dad was getting his daughter for a visit the next weekend and he was so excited to be able to choose a ‘Rice Krispie Squares’ package as a choice,” said Pat. “He commented with a smile that now he and his daughter could make something special on the Saturday afternoon!”

Everyone enjoys working with a volunteer as friendly and reliable as Debbie.

“Debbie is my right-hand person and is always a joy to work with,” said Fran. “I am also very proud to call her my friend!”