Shelley is a teacher at the YMCA, which recently recognized her as Employee of the Year. She is a pillar of strength in our community, and we treasure her volunteer service. You might recognize her from our ad campaign around the city.
“They call me the Bread Lady because I’m often the one distributing the loaves of bread at the Casa de Barro food pantry in San Francisco. Sometimes someone will ask for a second loaf because they have kids to feed, and it breaks my heart because I have four children of my own.
I first got involved with the Food Bank because one day I was riding the bus, and it stopped at the Casa de Barro Church. I saw a long line of people, and when I asked what was happening, someone told me they were providing free food.
I wasn’t working at the time, so I returned the following week to receive food. The way I was treated there touched my heart so much that I knew I wanted to be a part of this group. One man took my bag of food and helped me down the stairs and someone else held my hand. There was so much love.
So I asked to volunteer. Ever since then, I’ve been coming almost every Saturday for almost eight years. Through volunteering, I’ve discovered another side of myself: how compassionate and loving I can be. The food pantry allows me to reach out to others, and it feels really good to be of service.
Meeting people has always been a big part of my life, and volunteering has opened me up to whole new group of people. At Casa de Barro, we have social gatherings and share each other’s cultures. We swap recipes, share each other’s food, and I’ve even picked up some Spanish. For me, the pantry is a loving place where I can help care for others and I get so much love and appreciation in return.”