When you think of dynamic duos, maybe some classics like Thelma and Louise or Sonny and Cher (pre-separation) come to mind. However, here at Food for Others, we immediately think of the many volunteer partnerships that crucially support our mission.
Our January dynamic duo is Peter Fabry and Lisa Ninomiya. Fabry and Ninomiya form a truly dynamic partnership working as Power Pack volunteers. As volunteers for the Power Pack Program, they help distribute weekend meal packs to students experiencing food insecurity. They are responsible for assembling meal packs as well as loading packs for delivery. They assist Power Pack volunteer delivery drivers in loading and unloading their vehicles.
Fabry began volunteering in August of 2021, and Ninomiya began in December 2021. Since the start of his time volunteering, Fabry has donated 136.6 hours. Ninomiya has volunteered 103.7 hours. They started similarly, both trying out shifts as warehouse volunteers and as ticket pullers. However, they soon found that they most enjoyed working at P3. Their partnership began in March of 2022.
Fabry was introduced to Food for Others by Wegmans of Fairfax. He was interested in a new volunteer opportunity and seeing that Wegman’s was hosting a fundraiser prompted him to consider FFO. Ninomiya connected with Food for Others after learning about our work in the wider community. During the pandemic, her neighborhood held a food drive benefitting Food for Others.
Ninomiya shared that she enjoys working as a Power Pack volunteer because she believes “it’s a worthwhile program.” She expressed that she wanted to “find something where there was a great need,” and she believes serving kids experiencing food insecurity is one. Fabry and Ninomiya both reflected deep compassion around the impact of child hunger. Ninomiya termed childhood hunger as “horrendous,” sharing that “if [kids] are so hungry, [they] can’t concentrate in school.” Fabry described this as a “downward spiral.” Their accounts are based in fact. Studies have shown that children experiencing food insecurity often struggle academically, socially, and behaviorally, unfairly weighed down by their hunger.
Fabry and Ninomiya have developed a successful working partnership. Ninomiya described Fabry as “very easy to work with.” She also shared that he is “good natured.” When asked why Fabry continues to volunteer, he simply stated “the people.” He similarly stated that Lisa is “super easy to work with” and explained that they complement each other well since they’re both “willing to do whatever is needed to help out.” Ninomiya emphasized that “neither of us are much for standing around,” so they have similar motivation levels. Fabry also reflected that they both have a “willingness to pitch in and set expectations aside while doing what needs to get done.” This flexibility and dedication help them work well together.
Ninomiya has also continued volunteering because she “enjoys the people [she’s] working with.” She expressed that she loves hearing Fabry’s stories about volunteering at local animal shelters, and Fabry described “swapping stories with other volunteers” as one of his favorite aspects of volunteering. He shared that he “get[s] to live vicariously through Ninomiya in hearing about her travels.”
Fabry and Ninomiya make a classic dynamic duo. They’re simply “awesome,” that’s how Jon Foster, Food for Others’ P3 Warehouse Associate, described Fabry and Ninomiya’s dynamic duo. “They are awesome volunteers in every sense of the word. They are a huge part of what makes the Power Pack Program work.”