Long time East San Jose residents, Tom and Becky Hammer found their way to Veggielution after reading an article about the farm in Metro, a local newspaper. As retirees, they were looking for a volunteer opportunity that they could do together and would let them stay active. “Plus, this is our turf,” says Tom. “We wanted to contribute to the community we live in.”
That was two years ago. Since then, Becky and Tom have become veritable volunteer fixtures at Veggielution. Every Tuesday morning, the couple joins Colleen Hotchkiss, Distribution Manager at Veggielution, to set up and pack all of the CSA Farm Boxes for distribution. Since they are also Farm Box subscribers, they fill their own box as part of their duties.
Having Becky and Tom focused on a specific activity every week also makes for a very efficient system. “The same people doing the same task frees up Colleen a bit," says Becky. “We know each other and understand how things work.”
Colleen enthusiastically agrees. “Tom and Becky are all-star Farm Box members and volunteers. Not only do they support the farm through their CSA membership, they're here every single week to spend their time helping the harvest run smoothly. And a lot of times Becky even brings a homemade snack to keep the farm crew fueled up!”
The Hammers are very thankful for their Veggielution experience, and the impact it has had on their lives. They’ve added many new vegetables to their diet, learned to cook new dishes, as well as had the opportunity to share their Farm Box with friends and neighbors. “I even learned to can tomatoes here. I actually went home and did it this summer – we’ll see how it turns out in a few months,” laughs Becky.
They are also big fans of the people they’ve met and the sense of camaraderie they’ve felt while volunteering. “The food. The company. The socializing. Everyone is so welcoming,” says Becky. “It is easy to join the community here.”
Tom adds, “Most of the people here are a lot of younger than we are, so we draw from their energy and exuberance. It’s great seeing generations working together. We know that we’re volunteers but I really feel like we take more than we give.”
Well, if you say so Tom. We are just incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know you so well over the last two years and are thrilled to name you and Becky Volunteers of the Month. Thank you so much for your contributions to Veggielution!