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Volunteer Spotlight: Amy LaDu

After volunteering sporadically for a few years, Amy LaDu felt compelled to become a routine volunteer for the Dublin Food Pantry during the height of the COVID pandemic.

The shutdown/pandemic created vacancies in the volunteer schedule as many regular volunteers were at risk due to age or health issues. I was happy to fill in the gaps and quickly realized that I love working with the clients and volunteers – it actually “saved” me during the pandemic because it allowed me to get out of the house and interact safely with people.”

In addition to her regular volunteering, Amy LaDu is now a member of the Board of Directors and is a co-chair of the Board Development Committee. Through her volunteer work with DFP, Amy enjoys the opportunity to interact with clients, volunteers, and board members, knowing that she is making a difference in the fight against food insecurity.

Amy is thrilled about the DFP’s new location and all that it represents for the future. She explains:

 “The ability of our clients to individually make choices for their personal or cultural food preferences, as opposed to our current drive-up model, will grant them agency and dignity and will save on the amount of food the pantry currently must procure and provide to clients… Many of our clients use some or very few of the items in the box. With the choice model, each client will receive items specific to their dietary needs, thereby eliminating waste.”

Amy also shared her excitement for the #EveryoneEatsHere campaign.

“I love that the community – schools, businesses, non-profits, and individuals – are stepping up in a big way by contributing to the campaign to make this new pantry entity a reality. This outpouring of support tells me that the community is taking ownership of the pantry and of their neighbors who are experiencing difficult times.”

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Amy LaDu about some of her favorite things outside of her volunteer work with the Dublin Food Pantry. 

Tell us about your family.

My husband of 33 years is an orthopedic surgeon in the Columbus area. He loves concerts & travel and is a huge Buckeyes fan. My daughter, who graduated from Ohio State University in 2021 recently submitted her applications to multiple veterinary schools. She currently works as a veterinary assistant and personal trainer and competes in powerlifting. My son is a junior at Bowling Green State University, majoring in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology. Outside of school, he works repairing computers and troubleshooting hardware and software problems.

How do you like to spend your time away from your volunteer work? 

By profession, I am a physical therapist, but I have been fortunate to be able to be home to raise my children with just a little bit of part-time work during their school years. I have maintained my license and am now looking at reentering the professional world. I love to exercise, knit, travel, read and spend time with my family (immediate and extended), friends, and pets (outdoors and indoors).

What do you think makes Dublin different from other communities? 

Dublin is very diverse and rich in culture with many city-supported cultural celebrations throughout the year. It is extremely progressive in schools, businesses, and infrastructure, but it works hard to preserve and celebrate its history. A lot of people don’t know about the economic diversity in Dublin. However, most— when told about children who are hungry or about adult family members working 2+ jobs and still not able to buy groceries— immediately ask how they can help. This city takes care of its own and is truly invested in the ideal of #EveryoneEatsHere.

Favorite restaurant/park/thing to do in Dublin 

I love Chile Verde, 101 Beer Kitchen, Cafe Istanbul, The Dublin Village Tavern, and all of the Cameron Mitchell restaurants in Dublin. Scioto Park is my favorite park, but we spent a lot of time in Olde Sawmill Park and Coffman Park when my children were younger. I worship / volunteer / socialize at Dublin Community Church.

Be sure to follow our #EveryoneEatsHere campaign on the Dublin Food Pantry’s social platforms on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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