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Meet the woman solving hunger in West Michigan

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

A Q&A with Maggie Marcinkus, the brand-new volunteer coordinator at Feeding America West Michigan.
Maggie Marcinkus, center, with a group of volunteers at Feeding America West Michigan.

Maggie Marcinkus, center, with a group of volunteers at Feeding America West Michigan. /Feeding America West Michigan

When you come through the front door at Feeding America West Michigan, she’s the first person you see. Her name is Maggie Marcinkus, she’s 24 years old and she’s in charge of the 3,000-plus volunteers who will sort, ship, pick and pack 6 million pounds of food this year. Her mission: to make sure good food is available to everybody in our community. Oh, and on her way into work she was probably listening to Megadeth.

Q: Where did you grow up and what was your family life like?

A: I grew up in Grand Haven. I come from a very large family with a single stay-at-home mom. She’s the greatest and always fought for what was best for her little monsters. She taught me by example that our community is our family and we always look out for family. I have two brothers, two sisters, two half-brothers, and a half-sister ranging from 19 to 39. I’m smack-dab in the middle, so I had to learn very quickly how to tease them right back! We learned a lot from each other through all the good and bad. It really cemented our bonds with each other.

Q: Where did you go to college and what did you study?

A: I went to Grand Valley State University and majored in Public and Nonprofit Administration with an emphasis on Community Health. Go Lakers!

Q: You’ve worked for Kids’ Food Basket in the past, and now you’re Feeding America West Michigan’s volunteer coordinator. Why are you passionate about hunger relief?

A: Hunger inhibits learning as well as significantly affects our emotional state and our behavior. It’s a basic need that all too often goes unfulfilled and sets people up for failure. These people in our community are my family. It is ingrained in me and motivates me daily to do what I can to set them up for success.

Q: What are your goals as volunteer coordinator?

A: My main goal is to engage with our community to share more of our amazing and fun volunteering opportunities! It’s always a blast working with our volunteers and there are so many different things to do for people of all ages and abilities.

Q: What do you hope people take away from their experience volunteering at the Food Bank?

A: I want our volunteers to really know their impact when they come into the Food Bank. They are so vital to our organization and to our community!

Q: What’s your favorite book/movie?

A: I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones book series. I can’t pick just one movie. I’m going to go with Star Wars (5, 7, 6, 4, 1, 3 and 2 in that order) and just about anything with Robin Williams. He just gets me, you know?

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

A: Volbeat is my favorite band with Mastodon and Megadeth being second and third. When I’m not feeling the metal vibe, my go-tos are Elton John and Al Green.

Q: Any other hobbies or personal data you’d like to share?

A: I love to bake! My mom taught me when I was young and luckily I was able to snatch some of her secret recipes when I put together my own recipe book. I love being active by dancing, running, and playing tennis. I’m very much into crafts of all sorts (I am currently knitting a blanket with broomsticks!).

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