My First 60 Days Onboard at Loaves & Fishes

By Tina Postel

I have spent the last 60 days learning my new role as Executive Director at Loaves & Fishes. I have met with literally hundreds of dedicated community citizens including staff members, board members, pantry coordinators, volunteers and other community leaders and advocates committed to feeding the hungry.  I have toured Loaves & Fishes food pantries in action and watched as caring, friendly volunteers helped neighbors in need shop our pantries for their hungry families.  I have also toured many sister and partner agencies in our area and observed their great work firsthand.

Tina Postel

Tina Postel, Executive Director

On the flipside, I have spent the last 60 days witnessing the back and forth rhetoric between the two presidential candidates’ camps . As a result of this contentious campaign season, my social media is blowing up with friends from both sides of the aisle shooting vehement barbs at one another in attempts to prove what America really needs.  On any given news day, you can read never-ending stories of violence and hate among our fellow humans.  It is easy to become overwhelmed, frustrated, weary or, worse yet, apathetic about our future.  After I turned off the TV and tossed and turned, worrying about the state of our nation, a simple yet radical reflection hit me.  The America I have had the privilege to witness, especially over the last 60 days, isn’t divided or broken. Despite what I hear on the news, I see a different scenario entirely when I visit a pantry.  I have watched Methodists, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Presbyterians, Baptists, Agnostics, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Blacks, Whites and Latinos come together to serve their fellow humans.  I have watched people of all ages and backgrounds work together to sort food in our warehouse.  I have seen donations come in from Boy Scouts, church groups, corporations, small businesses, clubs, schools and caring individuals.

The nonprofit sector isn’t about sides or aisles; it is about service.The only aisles in our Loaves & Fishes food pantries are the aisles of food we give to the hungry souls in our community.

The nonprofit sector isn’t about sides or aisles; it is about service.The only aisles in our Loaves & Fishes food pantries are the aisles of food we give to the hungry souls in our community. Somehow, when people unite around a single cause….a cause as simple as feeding the hungry….the action of accomplishing the task at hand takes precedence over our prejudices, opinions and labels.

I encourage you to turn off your TVs; quit sharing angry rants and memes on Facebook; if you want to witness America in true greatness here and now, I invite you to visit your local food pantry  where people from all walks of life gather to give and support neighbors in need.  There is no judgement, racism or class divide in serving others.  We are at our best when we stop disputing and start helping.