Since 2016, Jan Cosman has worked as a volunteer for MANNA FoodBank. The nonprofit works to end food insecurity in the 16 counties of Western North Carolina, including the Qualla Boundary.
What inspired you to begin volunteering at MANNA?
I felt that volunteering was a great opportunity for me to contribute to my community.
What have you learned about the individuals you serve?
So many folks that are in need of food assistance are hard-working families that are simply trying to put one foot in front of the other and have difficulty making ends meet. With the recent challenges of the pandemic, more and more people are relying on supplemental assistance.
What has been the greatest reward in your role as a volunteer?
I have met so many wonderful people at MANNA — both volunteers and staff. So not only do we have the opportunity to help our community, we also get to develop new and lasting friendships.
What advice would you offer those thinking about volunteering?
I would say two things:
- Prepare yourself to have a deeper understanding of food insecurity in our community.
- Prepare yourself for some amazing new friendships!