AUBURN – Good Shepherd Food-Bank of Auburn recently hosted a conference and training day for members of the Maine Nutritional Council.

A presenter was Jan West Schrock, senior adviser and director for church and community relations for the Heifer International. For 60 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and training to poor communities – giving families a way to create small-scale farm enterprises to improve nutrition and supplement income.

In addition to her work with the organization, Schrock was former director of the national/international volunteer service program for the Church of the Brethren. Good Shepherd Food-Bank has received the services of more than 50 individual Brethren through the past 15 years.

Each year, the Brethren Volunteer Service has sent a group of volunteers to the food-bank, giving of their time and services full time. A typical group of volunteers consists of a married couple with children and two to three single members.

An average of three brethren volunteering 40 hours a week a year equals nearly $40,000 in labor calculated at minimum wage. The savings in labor costs to the food-bank can provide nearly $500,000 worth of retail groceries to those in need. This year, the bank has nine members, five of which are volunteering full time.

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