Please meet our fabulous Donor of the Month, Cheryl Eiszner. Cheryl lives just a few blocks from Mid-North Food Pantry (MNFP), is a parishioner at Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Lower Division Music Teacher at St. Richard’s Episcopal School. Read below to understand Cheryl’s deep commitment and support of our mission at MNFP.
MNFP: How did you first learn about the MNFP?
Cheryl: I am aware of MNFP because it is one of the ministries of Trinity Episcopal Church.
MNFP: Why did you want to volunteer at MNFP?
Cheryl: I certainly don’t deserve to have food more than anyone else, but I have never had to go hungry because food or money was scarce. Eating is a BASIC human need. Without enough food, people can’t function properly, learn well, or grow in a healthy way. I don’t currently have time to volunteer for MNFP, but I make a monthly donation to the pantry and serve on a Sunday Dinner Team from Trinity Episcopal Church. It is an easy way to ensure that those in our neighborhood can have a hot meal on that day of the week.
MNFP: How long have you volunteered?
Cheryl: I truly don’t remember how long I’ve been volunteering, but I’ve been doing it as long as the program has existed, so several years.
MNFP: What is the best thing about volunteering at the MNFP?
Cheryl: The best things about volunteering for Sunday Dinner at the MNFP are working alongside other Trinity Episcopal Church parishioners that I might otherwise not get to know, and to see our guests being well-fed. The food is tasty and usually plentiful.
MNFP: What do you like to do in your personal time?
Cheryl: In my free time, I like to swim, hike, read, compose music, see movies by myself or with friends, attend concerts and operas, and watch really good Amazon or Netflix TV.
MNFP: What was your first impression of the MNFP?
Cheryl: The program was very well organized from the beginning, but as time has passed, our teams have learned how to streamline things to make everything run smoothly.
MNFP: What has surprised you about working with the MNFP/ food deserts/ food insecurity?
Cheryl: I am often surprised by how long the line is for the pantry, and how many of the people who come have young children.
MNFP: What challenges you about food deserts and food insecurity?
Cheryl: It distresses me that many people do not know from where their next meal will come. As I mentioned previously, I have never known hunger because I didn’t have enough food or money. The two populations that seem to be the most vulnerable are the elderly and dependent children.
MNFP: When you volunteer, how do you feel?
Cheryl: I wish I could do more!
MNFP: What do you wish other people knew about MNFP/ food deserts/ hunger?
Cheryl: For the most part, people who are hungry on a regular basis have done NOTHING to deserve their plight. They are people, just like you and I, who have not had the advantages we’ve had. Many of them are embarrassed about needing help, and would rather be self-sufficient.
MNFP: When your family and friends find out you volunteer at MNFP, what do they say or ask?
Cheryl: I don’t talk about it much because I believe we should help without drawing attention to ourselves, but my daughters have substituted for me when I have been ill or traveling.
MNFP: Did anyone influence you to volunteer at MNFP?
Cheryl: No, not really. It is something about which I feel strongly.
MNFP: What would you tell someone who is thinking of volunteering at the MNFP?
Cheryl: Everyone is welcome to help, and it isn’t hard to do.
MNFP: Has there been someone special you have met while volunteering at MNFP?
Cheryl: Ginny Cottrell is our team leader, and she is AWESOME AND AMAZING.