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Momina Raja

Meet FeedMore’s CEO Doug Pick

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By: Momina Raja

If you want to help out in your Richmond Community, FeedMore is the place to do just that. FeedMore, also known as the Central Virginia Food Bank, is a wonderful organization that prepares, collects, and distributes food to the those in need. It’s a place where my family and I volunteer through programs such as food sorting and Meals on Wheels.

Last month I had the chance to interview FeedMore’s CEO, Doug Pick. Mr. Pick, who has been in this position for seven years now, had plenty of good things to say. From cleaning boats and being a mentor, to working at Capital One and Feedmore, he even gives us insight on what donation items they need most and a typical day at work.

What made you want to become CEO of FeedMore?                 

Up until we hit 50 years old we often think about success, and after 50 we start thinking about contribution. After I semi-retired from Capital One, I was looking for a complex non-profit to assist, and Jim Ukrop told me about FeedMore. I leapt at the opportunity to be a part of the organization.

Were there any Feed More clients that made a lasting impression on you?

One memory that will never leave me is when a lady walked into the lobby (I happened to be there) and put seven crumpled up $1 bills on the front desk as a donation. She let us know that she used to be a client and wanted to make a donation. I’ve always considered that the Holy Grail of our mission- helping folks to a point that they no longer need us.

What is a typical day of volunteering like at Feed More for those who are interested in helping out?

The great thing about volunteering at Feed More is that no two days are the same! Each weekday, we rely on more than 200 kind souls who donate their time and talents to our mission. From sorting nonperishable donations, to preparing and packaging food in our Community Kitchen to delivering our Meals on Wheels, our volunteers are the heart and soul of our hunger-fighting operations.

What’s the most popular meal at Feed More from Meals on Wheels?

I have heard that the meatloaf is some of the best! We have a nutritionist on staff who creates the menus each month and our Community Kitchen team and volunteers bring it to life! From chicken and dumplings to pulled BBQ pork to mac and cheese, our Community Kitchen team lives by the philosophy “food is love” and works to create meals that are nutritious and delicious.

What’s the most popular donation item and what item do you need the most?

Peanut butter is like gold in our world! It has a long shelf life, is rich in nutrients and just about everyone loves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Some of our other most wanted items include lean canned protein (like tuna or chicken) in water, canned fruits and veggies, spaghetti sauce, beans, whole grain cereal, pasta, quinoa, brown rice and healthy snacks like fruit cups, raisins or granola bars.

What time of the year is most neglected and you need more donations than you usually get?

Summers are usually the time when we see a decrease in our donations of food, funds and time, and an increase in need across our 34 county and city service areas.

With kids out of school for the summer, those that struggle with hunger worry where they will get their next meal. Family’s food budgets are stretched thin during the summer months and programs like our Summer Food Service Program, which provides free breakfast and lunch meals to kids 18 and younger, helps meet the need.

What is your favorite part about Feed More? 

The people who make our mission possible – our compassionate staff, dedicated volunteers and generous community of supporters who give so much of themselves to Feed More.

What was the first volunteer job that you had or enjoyed most?

My first real volunteer job was that I served as a “big brother” twice a week during the summers of 1971 and 1972 at St. Vincent’s Home for Boys. It was a Catholic home (run by nuns) for boys that had been taken from their homes by the Courts due to a number of often dysfunctional family issues. It was an eye opening experience for this Methodist boy who had never been confronted with those issues and their ensuing repercussions. It helped me develop a great sense of gratitude as a 16/17 year old, for all that I had been given by my family and society.

The most unusual jobs I had were all in my teenage years during three summers. I dug ditches for a summer; stacked and soaked railway ties in creosote; and when I was 14, cleaned dried algae off the bottom of boats with muriatic acid.

What is the best way for high school students like me to be involved with ending hunger in our community?

The first step is doing what you are doing by writing this article – raising awareness about the serious issue of hunger in our community. Talking about hunger and educating individuals on how you can help fight hunger is the first big step.

We find that many individuals first connect to our mission by making a donation of food through a food drive; knowing that the can of vegetables they donate will go to a neighbor who needs it is powerful.

 

Are you inspired by the work at FeedMore? Visit https://feedmore.org/volunteer/opportunities/ or reach out to Mr. Pick and his staff for more detailed information!

“Ralph Breaks the Internet” Movie Review

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Ralph Breaks the Internet poster image. This was a sequel to the first movie that came out in 2012. Photo taken from Disney Movies.

Momina Raja

It’s been a little over two months since Ralph Breaks the Internet released and it’s still the movie everyone’s talking about. If you didn’t already know, it’s a sequel to the first movie, Wreck It Ralph, which was released almost six years ago that introduced us to the whole world of video game characters. It follows the main characters, Ralph and Vanellope, as they find a Wi-Fi router that transports them to the “Internet” in hopes to fix Vanellope’s game before it gets shut down.

They meet new people along the way like “Shank” and the rest of her group from the game Slaughter Race, Disney princesses that we’ve grown up with, a cute little virtual bot called an “e-boy” that assists them, a social media helper named “Yesss” (voiced by Taraji P. Henson!) and many others.

One thing that many people were excited about for this movie is that actress Gal Gadot would be voicing Shank, an edgy competitive driver who Vanellope forms a close bond with. Gadot is more recently known for having portrayed Wonder Woman in in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie, Justice League, and Batman V Superman.

Because Ralph Breaks the Internet was produced by Disney, they were able to incorporate and include not only the famous Disney princesses, but also other pop culture characters and brands like Star Wars, Eeyore from Winnie the Poo, a few Marvel easter eggs if you look closely enough, and even a cameo of the late Marvel comic creator Stan Lee, which was a pleasant surprise.

Viewers were also able to see tons of other brands like EBay, Spotify, Pinterest, and YouTube which was nice because viewers were able to relate to the platforms since these applications are something we on a day to day basis.

The film has made $287 million worldwide and won Best Animated Feature nomination at this year’s Golden Globe awards as well as the Critics’ Choice awards. I would definitely recommend everyone to watch this. No matter how old you are, it is a movie that the entire family can enjoy because of the several references to games, people, and brands that everyone knows about.

There’s a New Superintendent in Town

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Amy Cashwell, new superintendent of HCPS, visits the Glen Allen High School Library. She is excited about working with all HCPS employees and students and working to provide the best education for all.

 

If you haven’t heard already, Henrico County Public Schools has a new superintendent, Dr. Amy Cashwell. Before entering school administration, Dr. Cashwell was a former second and fourth grade teacher in Virginia Beach. She credited her interest towards education to her childhood experience of growing up in a military family. “We moved a lot which means I went to a lot of different schools and sometimes those transitions were challenging. It was nice to know that I had teachers and staff rallied around making me feel safe and welcome” she said. Her “affinity for teaching” ever since she was little was another key factor in why she became a teacher.

Dr. Cashwell went into administration with the help of the experiences she gained from working in the school system. She stated that, “While I was a teacher I was able to take on some different leadership roles.” She served as a department chair, took on lots of committee work, and as she said, she “started getting involved in helping write and shape the curriculum not just for the teachers in the school where I was teaching but for the whole school division that I was working in at the time.”

She began to see the impacts made on the students. She said, “not just the classroom but the whole team of people thinking about what it looks like across the system.” From this she made the decision to obtain a master’s degree in administration, leading to her role of assistant principal and eventually principal, in addition to where she is now.

As of now, Dr. Cashwell hopes to help Henrico County Public Schools “maintain its reputation for excellence.” She hopes that there will be changes made in the areas of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. Her main goal is that students and their families should feel that there are equal opportunities for them “no matter what their gender, socio-economic status, religion, and race is.” She stated that she would “really like to see that be one of the major steps that we take forward as a school division during my time here.”

Apart from school related activities, Dr. Cashwell enjoys gardening with her daughters whenever she finds free time in her packed schedule. When asked if she could travel anywhere in the world, she replied with “some place in Asia” so that she could take an actual look at the history of the world “which you can’t really get from here.” The interview concluded with a piece of advice from her to our graduating seniors. She advised them to “Think about your growth and development as a person, and not just academically. Many times seniors are thinking about what they have to do to meet the course requirements required but they often miss the opportunities to grow as a person and become life ready.” Glen Allen Jaguars are excited to have such a great role model and want her to know that she’s welcome to visit anytime!

 

Staff

Adviser: Melissa McLamb
Co-Editors: Elaina Coviello & Maggie Nuckols
Section Editors: Lauren Baugham & Morgan Deckert
Photography & Graphic Design: Bailey Steele
Social Networks: Jamison Crenshaw & Claire Bernard
HoGA: Emily Bickford & Oscar Gamez
Interactives/Monthly Flyer: Ashleigh Russo & Kelly Riggan
Writers: Kaylee Bagley, Cassie Coughlan, Paxton O'Brien, Sara Beth Stansberry, Brian Fadool, & Joshua Holtzman