Lights. Camera. Volunteers!

May 20, 2024  |  by Maggie Prendergast   |  

Time flies when you’re having fun and making an impact doesn’t it? In honor of National Volunteer Month, Food Bank threw a celebration for the amazing individuals who give their time, resources, and talents to help us empower every New Yorker to achieve food security for good. Can we get a round of applause?  

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_117-1Food Bank staff celebrated our amazing volunteers.

This year’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Party was a night to remember! The room was buzzing with energy as we commemorated a year of hard work, dedication, and commitment to serving our neighbors in need. Volunteers, their friends, and Food Bank Staff enjoyed a memorable night of food, fun, and gratitude. Food Bank recognized volunteers who have gone above and beyond to serve our mission, recognizing their dedication and commitment with Libby Awards.  

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_76Nicole, Director, Volunteer Engagement thanking volunteers.

To all of our incredible volunteers – thank you. Thank you for your passion, your hard work, and your unwavering commitment to making New York City a better place for everyone. We couldn't do this without you, and we're so honored to have you as part of our Food Bank family. 

 240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_40Food Bank volunteers reveled at The Slate.

Cheers to another year of fighting hunger and empowering our communities, together! 

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_45Cheers to the 2024 volunteer season!

Without further ado, we present to you the following exceptional individuals and organizations who have left an indelible mark on our organization… 

Joanie Wang, Volunteer of the Year  

Joanie always arrives early and gets right to work. She’s come to know the process of our pantry distribution so well that she is able to anticipate our needs. And her work doesn’t stop at serving in our pantry – Joanie has served more than 180 hours across four Food Bank programs in just the past year! For this, we honored Joanie with our Volunteer of the Year award. Unfortunately, Joanie could not attend, so our Director of Volunteer Engagement, Nicole Harrison, accepted the award on Joanie’s behalf.  


Stop & Shop, Outstanding Corporate Partner  

This year we presented our Outstanding Corporate Partner award to Stop & Shop. We cannot express how grateful we are to each of the Stop & Shop staff members who have joined us on the ground at our Mobile Pantry and pop-up distributions across the five boroughs. We also thank them for the 2,500 turkeys they donated to ensure our neighbors could serve robust meals this Thanksgiving. Our Mobile Pantry Director, Chantel Peters, joined our Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Aaliyah Cardenas, to present the award to Shannon Karafian, accompanied by volunteer Denise Johnson, to accept on behalf of Stop & Shop. We are so grateful for their continued service and partnership!  


Johanna Goldman, Outstanding Community Kitchen & Food Pantry Volunteer

Johanna always comes to our Community Kitchen & Food Pantry with the enthusiasm to help where it is needed most, putting her all into the work that she does. In the past year, Johanna has served over 200 hours in our Food Pantry! Unfortunately, Johanna could not attend so the Associate Director of our Community Kitchen & Food Pantry, Sam Burgos, accepted the award on Johanna’s behalf. 


P.S. M79 – Horan School, Outstanding Community Kitchen & Food Pantry Partner

The Horan School empowers individuals with developmental and learning disabilities by creating equitable opportunities for their students to encourage their engagement within the community. Since they have begun serving with us, they have served more than 540 hours in our pantry. We so appreciate the dedication, commitment, and compassion their group has exemplified in our Food Pantry, and we are proud to be presenting them with this award.     


Debbie-Ann Morrison, Outstanding Warehouse Volunteer  

While our Repack Programming has previously been geared towards groups of 10 our more, we’ve recently begun hosting shifts to invite individuals and families to help us better support our warehouse. Debbie-Ann has served with Food Bank since before the pandemic hit in March 2020. We thank her for sticking by us in times of adversity and committing to empowering our neighbors. We are proud to honor her with our Outstanding Warehouse Volunteer award!  


Juliana Musonda, Outstanding Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Volunteer  

Juliana’s positive attitude allowed us to provide quality tax preparation service without stress and her can-do attitude and willingness to be challenged is a testimony of her character. She has gone above and beyond this year, filing 150 returns and secured $249,803 in refunds to our neighbors. We are so grateful for her service and are proud to present her with the Outstanding VITA Volunteer award! Johanna could not attend so the Associate Director of our VITA Coordinator, Erika Landi, accepted the award on Juliana’s behalf.  


St. John’s University and Queensborough Community College (QCC), Outstanding VITA Partner

This year, St. John’s and QCC students have come together to file over 1,100 returns putting more than $1,500,000 back into the pockets of New Yorkers city-wide. We are beyond grateful for everything our partners have done to encourage students to get involved in our VITA program. Professors Nina Dorata and Mark Ulrich accepted the awards on the schools’ behalf.   


Deliverance Baptist Church, Outstanding Mobile Pantry Partner 

Since the Mobile Pantry program’s inception, Deliverance Baptist Church has hosted the most distributions and served the most families, providing crucial resources and food to over 9,000 households. Food Bank honors the many ways DBC has continued to show up for food insecure New Yorkers. Unfortunately, Deliverance Baptist Church could not attend so our Mobile Pantry Team, Melissa Pino and Chantel Peters, accepted the award on Johanna’s behalf.  


To get involved and volunteer, email us at 

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_32Volunteers with Zac Hall, Senior Vice President of Programs at Food Bank For New York City.

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_19Raffle items included an autographed Henrik Lundquist jersey.

240502_VolunteerAppreciation_Slate_13Catering by Slate.


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