Volunteers make a powerful impact every day at the Food Depository. Last fiscal year, volunteers collectively gave nearly 100,000 hours of service, taking on tasks that range from sorting food items to driving delivery vehicles and more. The support of dedicated volunteers even helps us launch new programs to better serve our neighbors who struggle with hunger.

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, longtime Food Depository volunteer David Cheeks was honored with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. David is one of 28 individuals across Illinois to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award this year.

In 2016, David served the Food Depository as the first volunteer lead on the FRESH Truck, a mobile produce market that offers fresh fruits and vegetables at health centers across Cook County. As the volunteer lead, David checks in volunteers, ensures that all roles are covered, and trains others to ensure that the FRESH Truck distribution runs smoothly. He has supported this innovative program as it has grown from three sites at its launch to 15 sites today.

David’s commitment to the Food Depository runs deep: he’s volunteered for over 20 years. “The first time I volunteered with GCFD it was like love at first sight,” David recalls. “I’ve met so many wonderful people there – both dedicated staff and fellow volunteers.”

When he worked at the Federal Reserve, he designed a program for his fellow staff to carpool to the Food Depository for volunteer sessions. Although David has since retired, the Federal Reserve still sends a volunteer group once a month. David enjoys the many different types of volunteer service available at the Food Depository: in addition to his work on the FRESH Truck, he’s helped with food rescue, represented the Food Depository at public events as part of the Speakers Bureau, and more.

“I truly believe in the mission to end hunger,” David says. With the invaluable support of volunteers like him, we work towards that goal every day.