Seniors give back by volunteering at food bank

December 19, 2017 12:58 PM

LATHAM – Al Roeser was born in 1925 and retired as a bookkeeper/accountant in 1987 but is still working – at least one day a week – as a volunteer with the Regional Food Bank.

"I make a contribution to various charities and this is part of it," said Roeser.

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There are about 14,000 volunteers at Regional Food Bank and its satellite centers; about 50 at the warehouse in Latham each day.

"These volunteers faithfully go through it all, every donation we get in from every major retailer," said volunteer coordinator Ellie Zehnder. "They check for dents in cans, expiration and quality of product."

They accept food, school supplies, cleaning supplies, toys and personal hygiene items. Right now, they are asking for more personal hygiene supplies because "we are not getting as many in and people really need them," Zehnder said, adding, "If you're struggling to buy food, you're struggling to buy every other household item."

Among the volunteers are a group that meets at Shaker Pointe and travels to the food bank together.

"It's self-satisfying and it's helping people that are needy and I think that's about what it is," said Barbara Stampfli, a retired executive assistant. "And we enjoy it, we enjoy it."

"It's something to do in my spare time but it's something extremely useful, too," Roeser said.

"I see all the food here and know that people need it."


WNYT Staff

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