Get to Know Elisa Fleig, Preble Street’s Volunteer Program Manager

Elisa Fleig, Volunteer Program Manager at Preble Street, is passionate about locally sourced, sustainable food. She feels lucky to have her desk located in the Food Security Hub – Preble Street’s production kitchen and meal distribution center. In fact, Preble Street’s commitment to serving nutritious, and culturally relevant meals to people experiencing food insecurity is what originally drove Elisa to apply to Preble Street. 

She first discovered Preble Street while working for Trader Joe’s in Portland, where Preble Street frequently made trips to pick up food donations. Elisa wanted to learn more about Preble Street, its mission, and role in the community, so she did some research and found an open position as an Administrative Assistant. She quickly applied and accepted an offer in the Fall of 2021, transitioning to the Volunteer Program Manager role in October 2023. 

The Volunteer Program Manager role has been such an exciting and rewarding opportunity for her because of her passion for food and the inherently deep involvement with Food Programs – the program where many volunteers are placed. “Seeing what Food Programs does with the resources they have available to them… it just amazes me every single day. Staff and volunteers alike put so much love and care into everything they do,” shares Elisa. 

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Learn more about employment at Preble Street and job openings.

At the Food Security Hub, Food Programs staff and volunteers produce approximately 2,000 meals daily, which get distributed to Preble Street’s shelters and community partners, like Good Shepherd Food Banks and local food pantries. 

Thank You Volunteers!

The dedication, compassion, and hard work of Preble Street volunteers...

While Food Programs is very much a passion for Elisa and a great opportunity for volunteers, she also shares, “There is something for everyone. We have volunteer opportunities in several of our programs.” There are various in-program opportunities, where volunteers can connect with people who use Preble Street’s services or other staff members.

So many different and varied people volunteer with Preble Street, and Elisa meets them all as the Volunteer Program Manager. Some volunteers have even been coming to Preble Street for over 20 years! “There’s so many backgrounds and many different reasons for volunteering at Preble Street. I feel really inspired by everyone’s contributions, selflessness, and dedication.” In 2023, over 1,150 individuals volunteered with Preble Street for an impressive total of 17,800 hours. 

Elisa brings a unique and valuable perspective to Preble Street and the Volunteer Program Manager role. She grew up in a rural and mountainous town in Germany outside of the city of Stuttgart, where she developed her deep appreciation for food, helping others in her community, and the outdoors. She traces her passion for food and service back to college in Germany: “I volunteered at a soup kitchen for many years in college. That really sparked a passion for serving food… but not just any kind of food: homemade, nutritious, and delicious food that’s made with love and care.”

Looking to the spring and beyond, Elisa shared some exciting developments and opportunities that volunteers and community members can look forward to! With the ongoing expansion of the Food Security Hub in South Portland, there will be a lot of fun new machinery and equipment that will reduce food waste, increase efficiency, and boost the overall production capacity of the Food Security Hub. Come volunteer to check it out!

If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, you can create an account on our website and sign-up for a volunteer shift with several of our programs. 

There are descriptions of all the different volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Page. Click the button below learn more about the various volunteer opportunities!

Preble Street’s Teen Services is also this year’s beneficiary of the Annual Beach to Beacon Race, held in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We are looking for people to run the race as part of the Preble Street team, volunteer with us to support runners, and more! Fill out the form linked above to find out how you can get involved or email with any questions. 

Volunteers power the work of Preble Street

The contributions of volunteers are part of the lifeblood of Preble Street, playing a crucial role in our ability to fulfill our mission and make a meaningful impact in the Portland community. They provide invaluable support in various areas across the organization, like with event planning, community outreach, meal prep at the Food Security Hub,

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Preble Street Teen Services Named Beach to Beacon Beneficiary

In February 2024, TD Bank made the exciting announcement that Preble Street Teen Services will be the beneficiary of the 26th running of the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, August 3, 2024.  “Preble Street Teen Services provides critical support to teens in need in our community.”

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