Welcome to Dynamic Duos! Dynamic Duos is Food for Others’ newest Blog Series, featuring incredible volunteer partnerships. Jane Polzer and Wil Sanders are the perfect example of a Dynamic Duo. They are volunteer extraordinaries, passionate about food security, working together to serve clients.
Polzer and Sanders work as Ticket Pullers. Ticket Pullers are responsible for directly interacting with clients, building and distributing food boxes for them. They’re an important face of Food for Others, playing a crucial role in clients’ experiences seeking food assistance.
Polzer and Sanders both initially came to Food for Others after retiring. Polzer explained that she had “always been interested in food insecurity issues, and [she] wanted to get involved and help in any way [she] could.” She emphasized the importance of empathy in her choice to volunteer; “I try and remember that at any point, I could be in the same situation as any of the clients that come to FFO for assistance.” Since Polzer started volunteering, she has donated 1596.23 hours of her time. Sanders has volunteered 763.01.
When they first started volunteering, neither Polzer nor Sanders worked as ticket pullers. Polzer’s introduction to Food for Others was working in our My Market, and Sanders began volunteering as a gleaner, collecting fruit, at Hollins Farm. Both Polzer and Sanders were unexpectedly asked to step in as ticket pullers and ended up falling into their perfect volunteer positions. Polzer described the experience, stating that “one day they needed someone to help with distribution, and I loved it.” Sanders “found out that [he] liked how busy ticket pulling could be over a short period of time,” and quickly chose to come back as a ticket puller. Polzer similarly enjoys the busyness among other aspects, explaining that “I love the interaction with the clients, how busy it can get, and the teamwork involved.”
Currently, Polzer and Sanders work as ticket pullers up to three days per week. They’ve been working together for over 18 months, and in that time, they’ve developed into a truly dynamic duo. Sanders shared that he “admired Jane’s dedication to the clients and wanted to continue working with her.” Their organizational strategy is part of what makes their partnership so successful. Polzer described their strategy; “Wil and I each have our responsibilities, and we let each other do them. If we need help, we ask, and we help each other.” Sanders stressed that “communication and assistance” are the keys to their teamwork. He also shared that he “believe[s] [their] best attribute, as a team, is [their] dedication to providing the best service [they] can with the products available.” Polzer and Sanders stay “on the same page” by communicating well. They’re able to “function as a team” by letting each other know what’s available to give clients and “always looking to improve what [they] can provide the clients.” As a volunteer partnership, they “ensure [they each] have what [they] need to work” and that they “also enjoy the time [they] are working at FFO.”
At Food for Others, we are so grateful for the work of all our volunteers. In the last fiscal year, 40% of Food for Others’ work was done by volunteers. Dynamic Duos, like Polzer and Sanders, help Food for Others thrive. Their dedication enables us to reach more families experiencing food insecurity, and they support the welcoming environment for our clients that is absolutely crucial to Food for Others’ work.