At The Idaho Foodbank, volunteers are essential to helping feed hungry Idahoans. They bring a variety of skills and come from a wide range of backgrounds. Pat is a long-time volunteer at the Foodbank and his life experience has prepared him well for this role.
In 2010, Pat retired after a 41-year teaching career specializing in economics. Following retirement his interest in numbers never waned as he began volunteering at The Idaho Foodbank. “Between Boise, Pocatello and Lewiston, it’s amazing how many people you feed on a daily basis,” he said. “I just think about all the people that are involved in the pantries, the volunteers and all the people they feed. It’s amazing to me how everything gets done with as few people as you have.”
After he retired, Pat searched for places to volunteer. The Idaho Foodbank stood out to him because of its physicality in the warehouse. Mondays and Wednesdays, Pat volunteers at the dock and helps with incoming and outgoing orders. “I kind of fell in love with doing this,” he said. “Watching the food come in, I was amazed that all of it gets processed.”
The depths of Pat’s love for school might surprise those who know him. He used to work in a Nampa meat-packing plant in the summers to support his teaching habit. “I think I was one of the few teachers who hated to see the school year end and loved to see it begin.” Pat’s educational instincts also kick in outside of the classroom. As a father of 4 and a grandfather of 10, he is always in teacher-mode. Between music programs, plays and sports events, he and his wife have kept busy with their grandkids.
Aside from being a teacher for his family, Pat hopes that his story can teach others about the value of the Foodbank. “Millions of pounds of food, hundreds of thousands of people getting fed and the ability to match the dollars that are donated with the needs of Idahoans is phenomenal,” he said. “The people who work here are doing something really meaningful for the entire state. To me, that’s what the Foodbank embodies; the sense of community that we’re going to help provide for people’s needs.”