Volunteer Spotlight

Katie Davis

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

Joey involved me and explained what a true food mart was and how it operated. I couldnt wait to be a part of something bigger and for the good of the community!

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

Bagging up produce, loading cars, checking in... Wherever they need me :)

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

The love for people that all the volunteers have. The families are awesome that we get to serve!It’s the highlight to my week.


Tell us more about your family!

My husband and I have four children. I grew up in DeKalb county and want my children to grow up here as well! Our community is amazing!!

Tell us more about your hobbies!

I’m into healthy eating, running and keeping active. I sew, knit,crochet,veggie garden, camping... I always have multiple projects going or creating. I don’t like sitting still- if ya can’t tell.

Michel Siblik

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  1 year

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

What brought me to the Barb Mart was a call to serve by the pantry director, Joey Moore, which enabled me to be of service to our community in helping families who are food insecure.

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

When at the pantry, I have been working with a team of volunteers to pack non-perishables into boxes.

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

My favorite thing about the Pantry is that along with my fellow volunteers (Barb, Frankie, Rebecca and Caroline) am able to be of services to families within our school district.

Share a fun fact about yourself!

My husband and I met at NIU; and thirty years later, we are back in DeKalb raising our family.


Tell us more about your family!

My husband is a professor at NIU. Our oldest daughter attends University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana--she plays the Mellophone; just as she did when at she attended Dekalb CUSD 428. Our younger daughter is currently at CRMS-she enjoys being part of Cross Country, Book-club, and Equality club, and Jazz band.

Tell us more about your hobbies!

Getting dirt under my fingernails is important to me: I love planning, preparing and planting landscapes, and am currently trying my hand at raised bed vegetable gardening. Finding new healthy tasty meal recipes is also a passion of mine.

Sam Anderson

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  Since November 2020

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

Victoria Newport encouraged me to join the BFM team

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

I'll do it all! 

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

Joey and he dedicated team and the amazing quality and quantity of food we distribute the the families of DeKalb.

Share a fun fact about yourself!I cannot for the life of me shuffle a deck of cards!

Frankie DiCiaccio

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  Six months

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

Over the summer, I heard a news story about increased food insecurity resulting from the pandemic. I searched for area food pantries, found BFM's website, and sent off an email asking what they needed. A few days later, I was helping unload a Thursday morning delivery truck.

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

Every week is a bit different. I help put away new inventory, pack mixed boxes and online orders, organize special items and add-ons, and sometimes load items into trunks during Thursday evening distribution.

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

At a time when things are so difficult for so many of us, it's a very warm and welcoming place. The sense of community among our volunteers and families is respectful and encouraging, and I have personally found it very uplifting over these challenging months. I feel lucky to be a part of this place.

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

In non-Covid times, I divide my year between the Midwest and New York City, where I work as a professional actor and teaching artist!


Tell us more about your family! 

My husband and I are both from other states, so we don't have parents or siblings nearby. But we've been so lucky to develop a local family of friends and colleagues. And last spring we added to our ranks by adopting a boisterous puppy named Henrietta, Henri-for-short.

Tell us more about your hobbies!

I am an eager-but-green amateur gardener. This summer I hope to add lots of pollinator-friendly perennials like echinacea and rudbeckia to my garden.

Colin Booth

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  About 4 months

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

My wife works there and told me they needed help with the traffic

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

Directing Traffic

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

It’s doing such an important job helping people with food insecurity, especially during the pandemic

Share a fun fact about yourself! 

I’m a retired geology professor​.

Tell us more about your family! 

We have two adult children, one grandson and a granddaughter on the way.

Tell us more about your hobbies!

Drawing and painting, genealogy and family history, travel (when we can again!).

Joan Cochrane

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  A year and a half

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

I am a retired teacher of district 428. I have always been a supporter of the food pantry since it started. My husband retired a couple of years before me. He immediately volunteered with the pantry. As soon as I retired, I knew I wanted to volunteer as well.

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

I help every Thursday morning by putting away groceries for the evening distribution. I also help fill the special order boxes.

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

I really enjoy the comradery among the morning group. I Have gotten to know so many wonderful people. 


Tell us more about your family!

I have two daughters who live in Chicago; one teaches 2nd grade, the other teaches special education. I have been married for 36 years to Scott. We have two dogs, Zoey and Babs. We are hoping to move to Oak Park in the next few months to be closer to our daughters and Chicago.

Tell us more about your hobbies!

During the pandemic, knitting and binge watching Netflix, Hulu, and Prime.

Vanessa Saam

How long have you been volunteering at Barb Food Mart?  1 year

 

What brought you to Barb Food Mart as a volunteer? How did you hear about Barb Food Mart?

I heard about you the Food Mart through friends, and I knew volunteers were needed because it was not safe for many to volunteer because of the pandemic.

What can we find you doing at the pantry? 

On Thursday evenings either loading wagons or cars with delicious food. Sometimes I’ll sneak in an extra volunteer shift packing shelf-stable boxes. You can always hear me before you see me because I always bring music along.

What is your favorite thing about Barb Food Mart?

I love that Barb Food Mart is open to everyone in the DeKalb School district. You might not always have a need to stop by, but if you do, the Barb Food Mart is always there for you!

Share a fun fact about yourself!

I ran every day for 375 days straight (from December 31, 2019 to January 8, 2021) - a total of 830 miles.


Tell us more about your family!

I am married, I have 4 kids, and a dog. We love being outside hiking or riding bikes. We also like to camp and take road trips to explore other states.

Tell us more about your hobbies!

I enjoy painting with water colors, crochet, and hunting for vintage items at estate sales.