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:

Minnie - February 2017

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services loves volunteers! Without the service of over 8,000 volunteers every year there may not be as many individuals and families served on a regular basis throughout Sacramento County. With over 15 different volunteer services, SFBFS hosts volunteers of all ages. Some come and begin their service as young as 10 years old, while some continue volunteering until they are 90+ years old. Volunteers can assist in a number of programs ranging from teaching ESL courses in Adult Education, harvesting fresh produce in our demonstration garden to sorting non-perishable items at the Food Bank Services campus. Minnie Hernandez is no exception to these examples.

Minnie Hernandez, a longtime volunteer of 25 years, just celebrated her 90th birthday with other volunteers and staff in the clothing department in January! Minnie began volunteering in 1992 with Father Dan Madigan! She has always loved volunteering in the clothing department and has been doing so this entire time! Minnie has quite an interesting story; a story of hard work, dedication and serving others. Minnie was born in 1927 in the town of Marlin, Texas. She has been all over the Western United States since then, living in Roswell, New Mexico, San Francisco, Long Beach and finally decided to settle down in Sacramento, California. Minnie was always providing for herself but also for her family, whether it be bringing home a six pack of Coca-Cola for receiving straight A’s in school or moving back to Roswell from San Francisco to live with her mother when she became ill. Minnie is very selfless and believes that service to others is a road she was destined to travel on.

Minnie worked at Campbell’s soup for over 25 years when she and her family moved to Sacramento. She began peeling potatoes and vegetables for canning, and after proving her ability was moved to a canning machine where she worked for 25 years. When she retired in 1989, Minnie was managing the label room. It wasn’t long after retiring that Minnie became bored without having to work every day and decided to donate her time at, what used to be known as, Sacramento Food Bank Services.

Minnie now serves in the clothing department every Wednesday as a greeter and translator for the clients that use the services. I spent a few hours with Minnie in clothing and I am not exaggerating when I say that every person knew her name; clients, volunteers, donors, staff and even the mailman knows Minnie on a first name basis. I asked Minnie what keeps her coming back to volunteer? After 90 years of providing for herself and others, isn’t she ready for a break? Her answer? Short but powerful, “It is the friendliest place I have ever been.” Minnie was in the clothing department when she found out her son had cancer and on his way out the door for the day, the CEO of SFBFS stayed two hours late to be with Minnie and make sure she would be alright. It is the friendly environment and the family of staff and volunteers that keeps Minnie coming back to volunteer.

Thank you for all you do, Minnie!

Click on a link below to read archived Volunteer Spotlights:

2014
December 2014 - Raina Graves
November 2014 - Anna Guzavety
September 2014 - Lisa Wolfman
August 2014 - Edie Blackshire
July 2014 - Marcella Ramirez
June 2014 - Christine Trillo
May 2014 - Michelle Garcia
April 2014 - Linda Von Schoech
March 2014 - Rosalie Ferguson
February 2014 - Kimberly Swenson
January 2014 - Nana Djunga

2017
February 2017 - Minnie
January 2017 - Jake

2016
December 2016 - Trish
November 2016 - Jacinto
October 2016 - Cristo Rey student interns
September 2016 - Laurie Owens
August 2016 - Karen O'Hara
July 2016 - Teresa Suter
June 2016 - Jennifer Tillman
May 2016 - Ms. Joyce
May 2016 - Dan Decious
April 2016 - Pat,Judy, Steve & Ted
March 2016 - Gloria Clark
February 2016 - Sydney Donnell
January 2016 - Sarah Cheung

2015
December 2015 - Hattie Lagrimas
November 2015 - Chariss Fong
October 2015 - Bette Simpson
September 2015 - The Green Family
August 2015 - Katie Price
July 2015 - Ric Burwell
June 2015 - Eugene Asampong-Oduro
April 2015 - Makoto Hawkins
March 2015 - Dustin Richardson
February 2015 - Teri Weesner
January 2015 - Alec Gonzales