December 23, 2020

Volunteer Profile: Matt Savastano

Written by Kimberly Gadzepko, MANNA Intern

Matt is a chef who is originally from northeast Pennsylvania. He went to culinary school and has lived here for about 13 years. He is enjoying his life and opportunities.

Matt first heard about MANNA through a Mexican restaurant he worked at that participated in the popular guacamole event- Guac Off- hosted by MANNA. After an unfortunate job loss due to the pandemic, he started coming to MANNA four days a week. Now with his new and current job, he continues to volunteer between his work schedule.

Matt usually assists with loading trucks starting bright and early at 7 a.m. Following this he assists with labeling/stickers and around 8 am helps with food preparation.

“Usually, I help with food prep. I know that I can help in the kitchen and with the packaging it’s a good workout and I enjoy working with them. Everyone is very friendly. They are willing to help you with anything. I go in and 20 people say hi to me and know my name. It’s nice. It’s good to work with people who care about you and so clearly, they care about other people. It helps with volunteering work.”

Matt explains that the work for him at MANNA is motivating and inspiring.

“It gets me out of bed in the morning. I get there are 7 and I get up and do more in three hours than I would normally do during the day. It’s good to help your community and I truly believe in food as nutrition and food as medicine principle. Even myself, I notice that when I eat better, I feel better.”

Matt is happy to participate in helping at MANNA, a place that incorporates his own passions and ideals.

“A lot of the stuff I’ve done all my life at work I can easily apply there. Even with food safety stuff and knowing things there’s a familiarity with the lingo.

Matt truly loves the atmosphere and encourages others to get involved.

“I would tell people about what I do every day. I would let them know that there are people out there that need help and there are friendly people out there that are willing to do it with you. You can meet new people. I know it’s sometimes hard to get people to do something like three hours a week, but after volunteering at MANNA for me it’s super simple. It’s easy and fulfilling and makes a difference.”

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