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From Passion to Purpose: Glenys - a Long Serving Volunteer’s Journey in Food Rescue

Updated: Jun 18

How long have you been a volunteer for Satisfy and how did you hear about us?

In 2015, I saw an article in The Woodpecker, a free magazine given out to local homes in Woodend asking for volunteers and I thought, 'why not me!’

I had time, and initially started volunteering once a fortnight. 

I started by traveling in my own car along with other volunteers in their own cars to Pak’nSave in Rangiora where we would load up with all the food they gave us. Mostly bread of course in those days. 

We would then return to base, which at the time was run out of the Kaiapoi Community Support kitchen, oftentimes spilling over into their boardroom.

We would use this small space to sort and repack the food for recipients. Far from the large warehouse space we have today. 

At that stage Pak’nSave Rangiora were the only supermarket donating food in the district.

It's a lot busier now with 16 supermarkets on board!

What inspired you to become a volunteer?

I have volunteered with many different organisations over the years, and was drawn to Satisfy because it was nearly on my doorstep and something I strongly believed in. 

I feel really strongly about how much food we waste in homes and I often wondered where all the discarded food from supermarkets ended up.

As I was nearing retirement from my job, I needed activities to keep me involved with other people and that gave me some structure to my week. 

I also wanted to give back to the community. 

And…I would rather do that instead of housework-ugh!

2015 - Founder Phillipa Hunt and volunteer Glenys working out of the Kaiapoi Community Support kitchen.

Can you share a memorable experience or moment you've had while volunteering?

One memorable experience I have, is one day at our first location, just along the road from our present site, we had many many boxes of bread!

So many that they were all spread out in front of the building and we were not quite sure what to do with it all! 

Every recipient that came that day went home with plenty of boxes of bread.

How do you balance volunteering with your other commitments?

I have time to spare on Tuesdays so why not put it to good use.

How has volunteering impacted your life personally?

Volunteering for Satisfy has opened my eyes to how much surplus food is donated to us by the supermarkets - which would have otherwise gone to landfill. 

I often wonder why they bake soooo much bread. 

As a society we expect the shelves to be full all the time.

What skills or qualities do you think are most important for volunteers to have?

To enjoy volunteering it's good to have a sense of humour, like other people’s company and have some organisational skills.

It’s also handy at Satisfy to have some strength for lifting!!

How do you think volunteering contributes to building stronger communities?

Volunteering is amazing for communities because it brings like minded people from all walks of life together.

And in the case of volunteering at Satisfy it’s a nice feeling to know you are helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

In your opinion, what are the most rewarding aspects of volunteering?

The reward is knowing that the food we collect is filling tummies and giving people a lift up in life.

It's also really rewarding knowing that some of the waste (surplus) from our food donor's is not ending up in landfill or animal feed.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering volunteering for the first time?

It may be a bit daunting at first but after a few sessions I'm sure you'll enjoy the camaraderie and laughs. 

There will be a bit of lifting but there is always someone there to share the load. 

And like I mentioned it's really rewarding knowing you are helping the environment and those in our community that need a lift up.

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