A Volunteer & Partner Appreciation Recognition Event

Volunteer of the Year – Betsy Ryan, Anita Miczek, Elizabeth Baker, Nancy Vanwagenen

Outstanding Community Partner – SEFCU

Dinnie Shanley Award – The Schenectady Foundation

Sister Mary Coons Award – Envoy Vangerl Pegues

SPECIAL THANK YOU’S

Emcee, Giuliana Bruno, News 10

Kerensa Rybak Photography

VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR

SCHENECTADY COUNTY – BETSY RYAN – BREAD OF LIFE FOOD PANTRY

Betsy has been an integral part of Bread of Life Food Pantry from it’s inception. She is involved in every aspect of running the pantry and is always the first to show up and the last to leave. No task is too big or too small for Betsy. She is described as indispensable, compassionate and an incredible friend.

SARATOGA COUNTY – ANITA MICZEK – ST. CLEMENT’S FOOD PANTRY

Anita is the face of St. Clement’s Food Pantry. Not only does she take on any and every task that needs doing, but she also recruits volunteers and lightens the workload for others. Anita always has a smile and remembers every guest and their needs. She guides and inspires others by her actions.

RENSSELAER COUNTY – LIZ BAKER – SCHAGHTICOKE FOOD PANTRY

Elizabeth is described as “always up to the challenge.” She has always been first with ideas and unstoppable dedication since the pantry opened in 2016. Elizabeth is constantly finding ways to create funding and awareness for the pantry with her work on social media, grants, and events. She is indispensable.

ALBANY COUNTY – NANCY VANWAGENEN – MATER CHRISTI FOOD PANTRY

When Mater Christi found itself without a director, Nancy stepped in and took the leadership reigns without hesitation. She put her life on hold to keep the Mater Christi Food Pantry open until a new director was named. Nancy is the backbone of Mater Christi and continues to serve and contribute to the pantry selflessly.

COMMUNITY AWARDS

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY PARTNER – SEFCU

Working together we can do more than any one of us alone. Community partnerships are the heart of our work as a coalition. They help us to serve the needs of the community and improve access to food assistance for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District thanks SEFCU for their continued dedication to our members and their patrons through financial and in-kind support. With their help, underserved communities can gain access to fresh produce and resource information to connect those in need to food assistance with our Food Assistance Referral Services.

DINNIE SHANLEY AWARD – THE SCHENECTADY FOUNDATION

Dinnie Shanley was a longtime supporter in the fight against food insecurity. She was an employee of The Food Bank serving as the Community Liaison with member pantries and later transitioned into an invaluable volunteer. Dinnie went above and beyond in her mission by supporting, encouraging, and having compassion for pantry coordinators and guests. She understood the importance and need for collaboration and partnered with Equinox starting the “Day After Program’ that delivers Thanksgiving leftover meals to area shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries the day after Thanksgiving. Dinnie is greatly missed, but her legacy will continue to impact lives right here in our local community.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District thanks The Schenectady Foundation for their incredible efforts of collaboration and leadership during and after the pandemic.

SISTER MARY COONS AWARD

ENVOY VANGERL PEGUES – THE SALVATION ARMY, TROY

Sister Mary Coons, R.S.M. was a Sister of Mercy for 50 years. During this time, she was a teacher, a principal, and a leader throughout the Albany community where she served others selflessly. In her last 10 years of service, Sr. Mary Coons went back to where it all began, Blessed Sacrament, in Albany. As Pastoral Associate for Outreach, she organized and grew the food pantry, expanded the Christmas Program for Toys for Children in need and provided love, help and support to countless community members. Sr. Mary Coons passed away in 2008, but her legacy lives on.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District thanks Envoy Vangerl Pegues who embodies selfless dedication to our community and who goes above and beyond to fight food insecurity.