It’s no exaggeration to say that Preble Street’s pandemic-era transition to a production and delivery model of food service would not have been possible without the community members who have offered their time, energy, and even their vehicles to ensure that meals prepared at the Food Security Hub make it into the hands of the people who need them. These volunteers provide an essential service, but the time-sensitive, behind-the-scenes nature of their work — picking up hot, nutritious meals at the Food Security Hub and delivering them to local emergency shelters and organizations like the Boys & Girls Club — leaves us with few opportunities to properly recognize and thank them for their contributions. And even among our incredible corps of delivery volunteers, there is no one quite like Maree Young.
For the past two years, Maree has been the most prolific delivery volunteer at Preble Street. How prolific?
She has completed 573 delivery shifts — about 6 deliveries every week since joining Preble Street in 2021
She has picked up or dropped off meals more than 1,300 times
She has driven more than 7,000 miles making deliveries
She has personally delivered more than 56,000 meals!
That last number is so large it’s hard to imagine, but here are a couple of attempts to put it in perspective:
Maree has delivered an average of 76 meals per day for the past two years – that’s the equivalent of three meals a day for 25 people
Maree has delivered enough meals to provide one person with breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 51 years!
It’s not often that the Food Programs management team has to meet and plan for a volunteer’s vacation, but that’s exactly what happened when Maree left town for a while last spring. We all breathe a little easier when we see her name on the schedule because she has been one of our most consistent and reliable volunteers, despite the heavy workload. And she does all this without the least expectation of being thanked — in fact, she wasn’t too keen on the idea of being the subject of this profile. Maree, if you’re reading this, please forgive us, and most of all, thank you for all you do!
If you’re interested in volunteering at Preble Street, please visit preblestreet.volunteerhub.com to sign up!