On February 28, Second Helpings Atlanta hosted its annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon at Temple Sinai, and recognized its 2018 Volunteer of the Year, Thomas Hunter, with the LENNY Award for his outstanding contributions to the organization and community. This annual award, created in honor of Lenny Greenstein, a former SHA volunteer, was presented by his widow, Barbara Greenstein, Sheri Labovitz, President, and Joe Labriola, Executive Director.
“Tom represents the essence of why people volunteer their time, and he brings to life Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote that ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’ Like Lenny Greenstein, Tom lives these words every day,” noted Labriola. “He inspires all of us.”
Second Helpings Atlanta, Inc., the non-profit food rescue organization whose mission is to reduce hunger and food waste in metro Atlanta by rescuing surplus, perishable food and delivering it to those in need, has a community of more than 450 volunteer drivers who use their own vehicles and are matched with routes that allow them to drive to a Food Donor’s location, pick up surplus food, transport and deliver it to a Partner Agency and return back home or their place of work in 90 minutes or less. Through SHA, participating Partner Agencies are able to redirect funds they previously spent on groceries to provide additional core services.
“I think most of us have the desire to make a difference in the face of the huge problems the people of the world and of our community face – but we don’t know how,” said Tom Hunter when he accepted the award. “For me, Second Helpings Atlanta answers that question. In this country, there is a lot of food, and a lot of it is thrown out. At the same time many people go hungry. All we need to do is to get the surplus food to where it is needed most. My small gift of transportation helps feed hundreds or maybe thousands. At Second Helpings Atlanta, I’m one of many, and together, we help get healthy, nutritious food to Partner Agencies throughout the year.”
In 2018, SHA rescued a total of 1,635,945 pounds of food, enough for 1,363,287 healthy meals, which represents an increase of 8.5% over 2017. In total, SHA managed 7,952 pick-ups and deliveries (an average of 153 per week), and the average food rescue was 206 pounds (=172 meals).
To learn more about becoming a Food Donor or Partner Agency, or to join Second Helpings Atlanta’s volunteer drivers, please visit www.secondhelpingsatlanta.org.