Sheila Maddock came to Johnston 30 years ago from England to work as a plant researcher for Pioneer and stayed. She started volunteering at our DMARC Food Pantry about 10 years ago when it was at Crown Point and now is one of our “go to” volunteers. “Go to” meaning someone who comes regularly, can instantly see what needs to be done and just takes care of it.
Sheila now works as a biotechnology consultant and sets her own schedule. Most Tuesday and Thursdays she comes to the pantry on her lunch hour (or sometimes lunch two hours) and gets things organized for the next time the pantry is open. She also frequently helps out on Saturdays by doing intake on the computer and is a mentor in the JUMP program.
Mentoring with the Partnership’s JUMP program has been an important commitment for Sheila the last eleven years. She started with her first mentee when she was in 6th grade and they stayed together until she graduated from high school. She had two other mentees for a year each, until they moved out of the school district. She is now in her second year with her current mentee, who is a sophomore.
If a week or two goes by when you don’t see Sheila at the pantry it usually means she is back visiting friends and family in England. Sheila says Des Moines is big enough and has plenty to do and Johnston is small enough to get involved. Working with others at the Food Pantry has helped her get involved so far from home.
Sheila has noticed the increase in the traffic at our pantry. She says there are several reasons this might be:
- Cost of living increasing more than wages
- More people are finding the pantry (we are still hard for first timers to find)
- Clients like the friendly, kind people at the pantry
When asked, if she could wave a magic wand and give the pantry anything, Sheila mentioned, “a more private place to ask confidential intake questions, more space, entrance/exit layout and a bell on the door.”
We are fortunate as a community to have so many individuals and businesses who are generous in donating to the pantry, which really allows us to stretch our 'food dollars' and serve more clients. Just one reminder to those donating, “please make sure that food items have not expired and that clothing is clean and undamaged."
THANK YOU SHEILA!