Client Spotlight

Each month, a client at SFBFS is featured for success and growth. This month’s client spotlight is:

Sherrie Kelley - April 2014

Sherrie2Sherrie Kelley wanted to learn how to grow her own fruits and vegetables in an effort to save money, while trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. She learned that Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) held free gardening classes in the new Demonstration Garden in Oak Park and decided to sign up for Intro to Gardening.

SFBFS' Demonstration Garden serves as a resource and teaching tool for SFBFS' clients and is growing every day to serve more families in the community. The Demonstration Garden includes a greenhouse, composting and vermicomposting bins, large production beds along with other demonstration areas. Future plans for the garden include an outdoor kitchen where clients can learn to prepare food they cultivate and harvest.

After a few months of classes she shared with SFBFS Garden Coordinator, Greg Norrish her incredible weight loss journey.

In March of 2013, Sherrie weighed 100 pounds more than her healthy weight and began a battle with her health. She felt sluggish and tired all the time. She completely lost all her energy for daily tasks. "Honestly, I felt terrible," she says.Sherrie1

Following the advice of a friend, Sherrie went to the doctor for blood work and learned about her high cholesterol, her poorly-working thyroid and her pre-diabetic state. Her doctor then explained potential outcomes of diabetes including hair loss, heart disease and early death. Sherrie has no more option, she must lose the weight.

In just one year, Sherrie shed 100 pounds and plans to lose 10 more. "Before I'd grab a bag of chips and eat the entire bag. That would be my dinner," she says. "I learned you can't do that if you're trying to lose weight. You have to moderate your portions, exercise and drink water. You have to incorporate all of these things for a healthy lifestyle."

Today, Sherrie loves kale smoothies and butternut squash! Her new garden is now producing enough food to share with her neighbors.

Sherrie is also dedicated to improving the lives of others. "If I can help one person to lose weight or avoid diabetes, I'd feel blessed. You have to want to take the weight off. There has to be a want there. If you have the commitment, it's absolutely possible," she says. "It's a lot of hard work but what you're working towards is a life-changing attitude."

We wish Sherrie the best of luck on the rest of her journey.

Click on a link below to read archived Client Spotlights:

April 2014 - Sherrie Kelley (Food - Garden)
March 2014 - Theodore Williams
February 2014 - Maria Perez (Parent Education) 
January 2014 - Francine Murchinson (Clothing)
December 2013 - Johnson Family (SMUD)
December 2013 - Yelena Demchik (Food)
November 2013 - Kenyatta Clark (Food) 
October 2013 - Frank and Janet (Food)
October 2013 - Julie Bucsit (Food - Garden)
September 2013 - Javier Martinez (Adult Education)
September 2013 - Jennifer McCoy (Food - Garden)
August 2013 - Hassan Abdullah (Clothing)
July 2013 - Jesse Rodriguez (Youth Ed)
June 2013 - Minnie Counts (Food, Garden)
May 2013 - Christina Bordenave (Parent Ed)
April 2013 - Gertrude Byrd (Senior)



April 2013 - Cynthia Ryan (Food)
March 2013 - Diana Licon (Youth Education)
March 2013 - Alicia Brown (Food)
February 2013 - Gabriela Enriquez (Parent Ed)
January 2013 - Evelyn McGraw (Senior)
December 2012 - Cynthia Robertson (Clothing)
November 2012 - Naomi Fox (SMUD)
October 2012 - Gayle and Calith (Food)
September 2012 - Veronica Lopez (Adult Ed)
August 2012 - Ossie Townsend (Food)
July 2012 - Moria Osario (Adult Education)
June 2012 - Gigi Winther (Senior)
May 2012 - Joyce & Christian (Parent Ed)
April 2012 - Yuvonda McNeal (Adult Education)
March 2012 - April Hewlett (Adult Education)
February 2012 - Diego Aguilar (Youth Ed)
January 2012 - Oleksandr and Olga (Parent Ed)
November 2011 - Maria Delgado (Mother-Baby)
October 2011 - Carl & Collette (Clothing)

Volunteer Spotlight – October 2011
Yolanda Moore

yolanda.jpgYolanda Moore originally came to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) about five years ago when she was taking art classes at a local community college. She heard, by word of mouth, about a free art program for women in Sacramento, offered at a local non-profit organization. She became intrigued with the idea decided to check it out. What she found was the Women’s Wisdom Art program at SFBFS, a free art group for women from diverse backgrounds, who come together to support one another, learn new skills, and gain self-confidence and creativity. Yolanda felt very at home and started to gain confidence in her artistic abilities.

yolanda_1.jpgAfter attending classes, she decided to pursue her degree in Art at Sacramento State University. Her classes began to take up the majority of her time. Eventually she approached Helen Plenert, Women’s Wisdom Art Program Manager, to inform her that she no longer had time to participate in the program and needed to commit full time to her Sac State classes. Although Helen and the other students were sad to see Yolanda leave, it made them happy that she was pursuing a lifelong goal. By setting such a goal and steadfastly working toward it, Yolanda was unknowingly inspiring others in the program. “Even as a student, she was always a huge help in the classroom,” says Helen. “I asked her to consider coming back as a volunteer someday. It was just over a year ago when she walked back in to begin volunteer work for us. “

In 2010, Yolanda returned to SFBFS after receiving her degree as a volunteer for the Women’s Wisdom Art program.  As a volunteer, Yolanda offers support to the students in the program. “Every day is different,” says Yolanda. She typically arrives before any classes start, working with the instructors and pulling out all the necessary materials. The women often ask for help finding a certain item or ask for Yolanda’s opinion on a project. “Every woman has her own style when it comes to art,” she comments. “I try to give my opinion to them while at the same time making sure it doesn’t interfere with their own ideas.” Yolanda’s favorite part of volunteering is seeing students progress. Oftentimes students arrive unsure and afraid that they can’t create something worthwhile. The nature of the program allows them to freely express themselves and develop creatively. Once a student sees their work displayed on a gallery wall, they feel accomplished and self-confident. “The quality of the artwork created by these women is truly impressive,” says Yolanda.

Helen and the other instructors in the program value each and every day that Yolanda volunteers in the classroom. According to Helen, Yolanda is one of those rare jewels who see what needs to be done and just jumps headfirst in to do it. A new student may need some comforting and Yolanda just sits down next to her as if that was the last seat in the room and strikes up a conversation. Another minute she is up to her elbows in dirty dishes and paint brushes. “It's really a rare moment when I have to ask her to help with something specific because she usually thinks of it before I do. In fact, she may have already done it before I finish asking!” says Helen.

In addition to volunteering, Yolanda can be found painting or drawing on her own time, spending time with her friends, or visiting her family, including her grown children and five grandchildren.

If you are interested in volunteering your time to help someone in need in our community, click here for more information.