Over the past several months of working with Fabi, he’s quickly become one of our favorite volunteers! You can usually find him stocking shelves and taking out the trash on Fridays and checking in community members on Saturdays. We love how welcoming he is to community members – his easygoing demeanor puts new guests at ease.

Fabi got connected with NourishMKE as a student at Marquette University. He’s from the Southside and wanted to serve near his home. He only lives 5 blocks away from our Mitchell Street Center site! He says he likes volunteering at the pantry because it’s opening up his worldview. He says, “serving here gives me a whole other perspective of my neighborhood that I couldn’t have just sitting on my front porch and watching people pass by”. A lot of the people he sees at the pantry are his neighbors and he sees them near his home and at the stores he shops at. He also enjoys building community with pantry guests from other countries who have only been in the US for a couple of months, maybe only weeks. “I think it’s very cool that this place is the place that they come to to get food and also be with other people”. As a fluent Spanish speaker, Fabi is able to use his language skills to connect with people and make them feel welcome. He shares that he’s made new friends at the pantry and “a lot of people recognize me”. We’d definitely miss him if he weren’t there! His advice to new volunteers: “your first couple times if you’re nervous don’t be afraid to ask because everyone is looking to answer”.

When neighbors are helping neighbors, we begin to see systemic shifts in communities. We begin to reverse the negative stereotypes and narratives that are shared about a particular zip code and we begin to create a new story – one filled with abundance, generosity, and support.

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