Getting to Know Linda & Tom
Linda and Tom Wilmore have been volunteering with and supporting BFB for about one year. In that time, they have come to learn and love many things.
What is your volunteer job?
We do the non-perishables restocking, helping clients find what they need. It's a good fit for us to get to connect with people, and we see a lot of action.
What are your favorite foods?
We like all kinds of foods. Fresh fruit, Turkish food, dolmas, lamb-filled ravioli...
What surprised you about Bellingham Food Bank?
For the size of Bellingham, it's a huge resource. The layout is great. There's no stigma. You come in and pick just what you want off the shelves. If you want candy, you can have it; it's whatever people want --that's what we really like about it.
What would you say to someone who was interested in volunteering here?
It's very busy, and you have to enjoy engaging with all kinds of people. You may have people who are troubled and you need to be understanding to help them. You have people who can't walk, or who get overwhelmed who may need assistance making decisions and guidance on how much to get.
It can also help to speak a foreign language like Spanish or Russian to help in making all clients feel welcome.
Be ready to step in and help, but also be sensitive to boundaries and know when not to help.
What do you like to do when you're not at BFB?
We love to travel! We have trips planned to the Netherlands and South America. When we're not traveling, we like to walk, attend live theatre, and garden. We have greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, herbs...whatever we can grow!
What are your hopes for BFB in the future?
We would love to see BFB shut down because people don't need to come in anymore, but that's pie in the sky. The need is going to be there, so increasing outreach to people who can't get here by taking the bank to the people would be fabulous. Also, keeping the high quality, excellent produce coming by contracting with farmers.
We love working here and participating! The food bank is an iconic part of Bellingham.