This story of service comes from Adrienne Encinias, director of Small Town Project Food Share in Colorado.

“I figured this would only be something I did a few times. I really didn't think much of it, but helping people who are in need has made a huge impact and I am beyond grateful to be able to make a difference in their lives.

Hello, my name is Adrienne Encinias, and I am the director of Small Town Project Food Share. In May 2020, I saw that Small Town Project Food Share, a new local food bank, had recently opened. They were in need of volunteers, so I filled out the volunteer application, submitted it, and was contacted to help volunteer.

Currently, I’m going on a year of being the Director and I love what I do! I have an amazing team of volunteers who have become like family to me, and I have met so many individuals who live in my community.

I choose to give back because that's who I am, I give with my whole heart. And the best gift you can give someone is your time. Not to mention I have two kiddos that I need to set an amazing example for.”

Small Town Project Food Share was invited by UpRoot and the Arkansas Valley Research Center to help harvest watermelon and corn.

UpRoot works to increase the nutrition security of Coloradans by harvesting and redistributing surplus, nutrient-dense foods while supporting the resilience of farmers. Arkansas Valley Research Center serves as a resource for irrigated agricultural research.

The volunteer-driven harvesting events happened in August and September of this year and resulted in 744 pounds of watermelon and 500 pounds of corn being gleaned and redistributed in the community. This is a perfect example of what can happen when community groups work together!

Thank you, Adrienne, for sharing your story.