Sister Kim Kessler, former pantry coordinator at the Drueding Center is a long-time supporter of the Coalition. She became involved in the anti hunger movement between 2013-2014 when she worked with the Coalition Against Hunger to establish the Drueding’s Green Light Food Pantry.
How long have you worked with the Coalition?
When [the] Green Light Food Pantry started [around] 2013-2014. Tanya [Sen] and I worked together. [We] co-pilot[ed] the project for the first Green Light Pantry.
How has the partnership helped your work in the community?
I feel like when we partnered with the Coalition, it helped us to connect with other food resources and education. At first, Tanya would come in and do food education because of her dietary background. We would select recipes of the month. I felt it helped with nutritional education, but also connected us to other places to get food for the food pantry.
How do you think the relationship with the Coalition affected your clients?
I felt with the nutrition and recipes of the month, people that were not willing to try certain things. Myself or Tanya would encourage people to try something different. Sometimes they would, sometimes they wouldn’t. I also felt that people would pursue coming to Drueding because it is a healthier food pantry, because of their dietary needs or their health issues.
What else would you like to accomplish with the Coalition?
I’m on the board of the Drueding Center now, but I still do the Race Against Hunger every year because I know it helps support the food pantries.
Why do you continue to support the Race Against Hunger?
I feel like ever since I left Drueding, I have this passion about the food pantry and how much I learned from the people that would come and didn’t have the money to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. They would be so grateful, and say: “I can’t afford this, this is the stuff I should be eating, but I can’t afford it.” Because of what the people taught me, they would say: “this is such a blessing to this food pantry where I can get healthier things and pick out what I want because it’s a choice pantry.” I feel like it’s my way of giving back to help the food pantry and those people in the community. It's been a great connection with the Coalition because of the different things they help provide.
Drueding Center Pantry Team