With 70 years of combined experience in the food industry, Bob and Elaine Herrick regularly find creative ways to translate their knowledge into creative ways to support Durham Community Food Pantry operations. The couple moved from Buffalo, NY the day after Bob retired, with Elaine retiring only a few months earlier. They relocated to North Carolina to be closer to their son, daughter and two grandchildren who live in Carrboro and Durham. While volunteering, Bob and Elaine have shared stories about their holiday family gatherings in this area or joint family trips to Yellowstone. These stories underscore that both their family and our pantry are lucky and thankful they moved to Durham.

Bob and Elaine started volunteering at the DCFP in 2019 after hearing about the pantry at their parish, Holy Infant. They volunteer three days a week completing several important jobs to help keep the pantry thriving, including retrieving food from community partners. They pick up pallets of retail donations from Target and Sam’s Club each Friday in the DCFP box truck and act as official shoppers for the pantry at the Durham branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Each Tuesday, they visit the Food Bank of CENC to build pallets of meat, produce, dry goods, and deli items which can be used during distributions and drive those pallets back to the DCFP.

At pantry, they also lead dry goods box building on Mondays to support the three weekly distributions and the monthly mobile pantry. The entire Monday crew operate as a well-oiled machine and get an amazing amount accomplished each week thanks to the leadership of Bob and Elain. Finally, they volunteer during the pantry prep for our mobile distribution which supports the Hillsboro, NC community.

Last year, Bob and Elaine volunteered a combined 912 hours! They also generously donated two raised beds for the pantry garden and Bob built the overnight donation box in front of the pantry. Upon seeing the shortages of dry goods, they worked with their priest, Father Robert, to use funds from Holy Infant to help purchase $462 of dry goods that were immediately packed into boxes.

Bob and Elaine enjoy being able to work and serve others while creating ways to help the pantry positively impact more clients. They also enjoy working with two different teams of dedicated volunteers on Mondays and Tuesday. Their hard work, dedication, and sense of humor makes shifts enjoyable and the pantry successful. Thank you for all you do!