Each month, a volunteer at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services is featured for their dedication of time and talent. This month's volunteer spotlight is:

Jake - January 2017

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Do you remember the neighbor who went to college for 10 years? The person who switched majors three times in their first semester and two more times before the end of their second year? Who can forget that friend who decided, the day before graduation, that they wanted to pursue a new career path? Similar to the typical college tenure, becoming a volunteer with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services has its fair share of tough decisions. The tough decisions come when volunteers first join SFBFS’ volunteer group; in what program should a volunteer sign up for? Sometimes a volunteer finds a program that interests them immediately, sometimes they go through a couple of programs before finding the right fit and other times volunteers simply want a change of scenery and switch programs for a while. An excellent example of this process is our January Volunteer of the Month, Jake Henshaw.

Jake is a retired newspaper reporter from San Antonio, Texas who has lived and worked along both coasts, the Gulf of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains. As a reporter, Jake covered it all; local government and politics all the way to Congress and the White House.  It is safe to say that Jake has been everywhere twice and reported on everything once. Jake as a volunteer with SFBFS is not much different. He has volunteered as an educator in Adult Education, at Produce For All distributions throughout Sacramento County and most recently with CalFresh as an outreach volunteer.

It all began when Jake was approached by Fr. Dan Madigan about volunteering after a service. Apparently Fr. Madigan is a hard man to tell no to. However, once he became familiar with SFBFS’ programs and saw the benefits to the community it was an easy sell. Jake decided to volunteer in Adult Education as an educator, but quickly realized that he was not a teacher. Jake then decided, because of his knowledge of state government, that CalFresh may be a better fit. It also gives Jake a chance to aid fellow Sacramento residents in meeting a basic need and fuller lives. After spending some time with SFBFS’ CalFresh program, it appears, that Jake has found the right program.

It is clear through his career and time as a volunteer that Jake cares for those in his community, whether it be through reporting to the community or providing information on CalFresh benefits to those who otherwise wouldn’t have known about the program. When asked why he thinks it is important to volunteer, Jake had this to say, “Would you believe me if I said that my wife wants to get me out of the house once in a while?” After stating the obvious however, Jake said volunteering is important in developing the potential of the community through helping individuals. Jake  looks forward to the opportunity of providing a useful service to others in his community, stating that he also benefits by meeting community members who educate him on how fortunate we all are to be living in this wonderful community. Aside from his volunteering, you may see Jake out and about in the community enjoying his favorite pastime, birdwatching.

Thank you for all you do, Jake!