As we wrapped up the past year, Mama’s Kitchen celebrated the growth and expansion of our mission and recognition of food as medicine. With a small set of paid staff, it is no surprise that we rely on our wonderful volunteers to keep our mission thriving. Nancy Janus, a valued volunteer of over 17 years, speaks to the dedication our volunteers have to the mission of Mama’s Kitchen.

In her career as a registered nurse, Nancy experienced the severity of the HIV epidemic as it unfolded. Distraught by the impact of this horrible disease, Nancy naturally saw Mama’s Kitchen as a perfect fit to be involved with a community that she valued dearly.

Each Friday morning, Nancy volunteers at the reception desk – answering phone calls, greeting visitors, and providing general office support. Throughout her time here, Nancy has seen Mama’s Kitchen serve more clients, expand its mission, and strengthen outreach within the community. She finds that “it is wonderful to be able to serve more clients and help more people. I believe the mission is still the mission, and the goal is still the goal.”

As we transition into the New Year, we embrace these new opportunities to improve the lives of those that are affected by HIV, cancer, and other critical illnesses. Thanks to volunteers like Nancy, we remain steadfast in supporting the nutritional needs of our neighbors working towards better health.

We want to recognize Nancy, not only as a valued volunteer, but as a compassionate and generous donor who makes our day-to-day tasks feasible. Nancy and her late husband, Tony, generously contributed to our capital campaign which assisted with the cost of moving into our current location. Nancy is currently a Bread and Butter monthly donor, and is an incredible donor of time who makes our work possible.

Nancy sees her time at Mama’s Kitchen as valuable, and says, “I love my Friday shift. I love the people who work here. Coming here is not only a destination, it is an event.”

We can all agree that Nancy admirably embodies the values and mission of our organization with compassion and wit. We are grateful beyond measure to have Nancy in the Mama’s Kitchen family and we look forward to every Friday shift where she welcomes us with a warm smile.