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Waynesboro man turns his temporary job into a career

August 11, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN

marlob@herald-mail.com

A little more than a year ago, Steve Smith was looking for a job. What he found at Food Resources Inc. has turned out to be a whole lot more - for him and for the nonprofit agency.

"I needed work, and a lot of places where I applied weren't hiring," Smith said. "So I went through Manpower and got a temporary job at Food Resources."

That temporary position led to a job offer, and now Smith said he is happy with his new career.

"I have learned a lot here," Smith said.

The 30-year-old Waynesboro, Pa., native lives in Mercersburg, Pa., with his 4-year-old son. He had been looking for employment in the State Line, Pa., and Greencastle, Pa., areas to cut down on travel time.

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Now that he has a year under his belt at Food Resources, Smith is glad things worked out the way they did.

And so is Ruth Anne Callaham, executive director of Food Resources, who said Smith has been a real asset - so much so that he was featured on the front page of the agency's recent newsletter.

"Not only does Steve go the extra mile for our clients, he does it with a smile," the newsletter says of Smith, who is described as the jack-of-all-trades warehouse guy.

"At my previous job, I learned how to operate a forklift," Smith said, adding that he has gotten more proficient in the past year.

As for computers, Smith described himself as computer illiterate before coming to Food Resources. He has learned how to produce invoices and other paperwork for customers via the computer.

Each morning, Smith gets his paperwork for the day's assignments. Some days, he makes deliveries. Every day, he tends to customers who come in for food.

On a recent weekday, Smith was pulling orders for "pods," a term used to describe agencies or families who order as a group. Day-care providers get their orders from Food Resources on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Smith said he works closely with the senior pantry program.

"When you do home deliveries, you get to see where people have to choose between food and medicine," Smith said.

Some of the deliveries go to homes, while others are taken to senior centers. The program provides about 20 pounds of food a month to about 300 older residents.

A few choices are available when the clients fill out forms to get food through Food Resources, and Smith said additions often are provided when they are available.

For instance, peanut butter is popular. In September, jelly also will be available, Smith said.

He also supervises volunteer packers, schedules deliveries and drives the truck.

When he isn't working at Food Resources, Smith likes to go to movies and yard sales.

The nonprofit organization has a number of programs to help in the fight against hunger in the community. There is an emergency food pantry and brown-bag program for individuals, as well as specific location programs such as residential and nonresidential centers and soup kitchens.

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