Art Pearce – Volunteer Spotlight
Interview conducted in 2014 by Jane Mt.Pleasant.
How long have you been volunteering for the FDN? I started working with FDN in 2009 when a group of us formed an Advisory Committee that explored ways that FDN could transition from a successful project run by Sara Pines into a sustainable not-for-profit corporation. In 2010 we incorporated, and I became the vice president and treasurer. I still serve as treasurer.
Describe your volunteer activities for FDN. As treasurer I keep the financial records, pay the bills, and deal with state and federal reporting requirements. I have covered the FDN phone on weekends, substituted for [FDN coordinator] Meaghan Sheehan Rosen when she was on vacation, picked up donated food at the Farmers Market and Cornell, and helped with the maintenance of FDN’s facilities.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not volunteering? I have two hobbies, sailing and golf, which get me outside much of the year. My family is a big part of my life (wife Katy and four grown children), and now we have two grandchildren and a third expected in January 2015.
Share a short story regarding your personal experience with FDN or describe your most rewarding experience. It was very rewarding working in partnership with [FDN Chair] Judy Dietz during the 2009-2012 period as FDN was taking shape as a corporation with a strong board and a paid staff person. Judy had a wonderful combination of common sense, administrative skills, vision, warmth, and a sense of humor. Not a mix that I have encountered very often!
What are three things that that you learned about rescuing food and reducing hunger while working as an FDN volunteer?
-It is very satisfying to know that good food that was going to be wasted gets to someone who needs it and can enjoy it.
-Food donors get great satisfaction knowing that their product is not going to the landfill.
-Pantries and meal sites really value the fresh produce we can provide. Many have no other source of unprocessed food.
What’s your favorite food? I like fresh greens and apples, but my ‘favorite food,’ I’d have to say, is rack of lamb.