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Volunteer Dave Farrell wins Governor's Volunteer Service Award

Volunteer David Farrell is no stranger to food banking. He has been a volunteer with Central Illinois Foodbank since we moved into our current location on Cook Street in 2013. 

During all that time, David have been a regular sight in our sort room, at our food distributions, and behind the wheel of our delivery vans. He provides service with a smile, and is always eager to step up to assist his neighbors. In the past year alone, he has contributed over 300 hours of volunteer time, helping us in our effort to distribute over 12 million pounds of product during that timeframe. 

Dave describes volunteering at the Foodbank as "a self-powering enterprise" that keeps him coming back to give more. 

"It gets down to something vital. It's not just making somebody happy for a moment, it's recognizing basic fundamental human needs," David said. "You don't think in terms of well, I'm serving somebody food, you think in terms of making somebody's life better. And that is a joy unto itself." 

In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced thousands out of work and required food banks to push their efforts into high gear to meet an unprecedented amount of need in our communities, David didn't back down from the challenge. 

"You realize there were people who for the first time in their lives were confronting the need to ask for help to meet basic food needs," he said. 

When the Foodbank adapted to COVID-19 by adopting a drive-up food distribution model to maintain social distancing guidelines, David was a dependable individual in helping to deliver food and load car trunks full of food. 

"It was very satisfying to know that these people could take a box of food which could be anywhere from five to 10 meals," he added. 

While COVID-19 presented new challenges and an increased amount of need, David understands that hunger is an issue that is with us 365 days a year, no matter the circumstances. 

"The hunger is there. People get hungry every day and several times a day," David said. "So to be part of meeting that human need, boy, that's a special opportunity." 

In recognition of his service to his neighbors and leadership during the pandemic, David was named a winner of a Governor's Volunteer Service Award by the Serve Illinois Commission on November 10. While he called the award "a personal point of fulfillment," he said he looks forward to continuing his efforts with the Foodbank well into to future. 

"I look forward to continuing because if I can find some other people who might be excited about the Foodbank when I describe what I do, then it's good for the future. The need continues every day."