Richard Gordon works hard in his role at Gleaners Food Bank, and he makes a real difference for hungry families. He had always hoped to make a difference, and when he graduated from IU in the early ’90s Richard wanted to be in government. He served with the State Association of Cities and Towns, later as a community developer at a leading non-profit in Indianapolis, and also had some corporate experience. Since 2013 he has been employed at Gleaners.
Richard loves his current role because he is helping folks who are really in need. He does not work in the warehouse, or direct Gleaners’ wonderful on-site food pantry. Richard’s role is to help people apply for and enroll in SNAP. He meets folks at locations all over the city, connects with them, and assists them through what can be a challenging enrollment process.
He knows first-hand how important this is. The process takes a little while, but people are very grateful for his assistance because SNAP provides the greatest amount of food.
Richard’s impression of the many clients he has worked
with over four and half years are that they are not ‘freeloaders.’ They are just trying to feed their families. They want to do better with their lives, and they want a job that will allow them to buy all their own food. In the meantime, they enroll in SNAP because they really need the assistance.
Richard has helped rural and urban folks, all ethnicities, and people from various walks of life. He tells of the woman from Hamilton County who got downsized from her job at a Fortune 500 company. With no experience with food assistance, she drove all the way to Gleaners on the south side of Indianapolis seeking help in applying.
John Elliott, CEO of Gleaners, says: “SNAP is vital!“ and Gleaners 2017 Annual Report notes that their SNAP outreach resulted in the equivalent of nearly 725,000 meals.
The role SNAP can play was brought home to me recently when I talked to a man named Bob at a program for people working their way out of poverty. Bob’s life had gone downhill after his son died in 2009. He ended up homeless for months, living in abandoned buildings. Bob is doing much better now, and he credits three things for saving his life – a church, Wheeler Mission, and SNAP.
Both Richard and SNAP are making a real difference. SNAP helps real people in need. It works and our nation needs it. Please tell your Representative and Senators NO cuts to SNAP.