Meredith Bradshaw, who has been heavily involved as a volunteer with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle this past year, is now headed south to intern at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, where she will educate guests about the animals. The following is an appreciation written by Lindsay Perry, IFFS Local Produce Coordinator. As her time with us draws to a close, we celebrate Meredith Bradshaw and her many contributions to our work. I have worked with Meredith through the Field Gleaning program. She first showed up about a year ago to glean collards, and since then she’s been willing to try just about anything that needed doing. She’s tackled numerous gleanings and driven IFFS trucks to pick up food from local farms, as well as for the BackPack Buddies program. She’s stepped up to act as a gleaning Field Supervisor, supervising volunteer groups to glean crops, and represented us at community events.
“What kept me coming back was the passion I saw every member of IFFS and their volunteers had for saving food and providing it to those that normally wouldn't have access to it,” said Meredith. “That and the amazing people I worked with—Dennis and Lindsay to name a few.” Aw, shucks.
What do I think of when I think of Meredith?
- I think of Meredith driving a box truck 10 miles below the speed limit, terrified but willing to drive because we needed her to.
- I think of her cautioning that the truck is getting full and we better stop picking; a voice of reason pushing back against my sometimes crazy desire to pack the truck as full as possible.
- I think of her many ideas and suggestions, adding to our efficiency and capacity.
- I envision Meredith, finished volunteering with us and heading off to her next volunteer commitment at Piedmont Wildlife Center or the SPCA. Seriously, she will pack in two or more volunteer commitments in the same day. Or she will run a 5K race before gleaning. Meredith is the Uber-Volunteer.
Did I mention she bakes? She is often known to bring gourmet vegan treats for the other volunteers and the farmer—great for donor relations!
“The smiles on the faces of the farmers, and the sheer amount of food we were able to bring back every time made it worthwhile,” Meredith explains. “And also made me wonder why there's such a hunger problem in this country. It has all made me a wiser person when it comes to consuming, making, and sharing the plentiful food I'm blessed with.”
Farewell Meredith! Thanks for all your contributions to stop hunger, and may you find success in all your endeavors, and fabulous new organizations to get involved with in Orlando.