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Hands Behind the Hunger Fight: Our Paths to the Food Bank — Part 2

Last month, we shared the career paths of one of our drivers, John, and our Volunteer Manager, Alex. Today, we’re sharing the stories of our two Mikes: Mike McNamara, Inventory Manager, and Mike Glew, Logistics & Facilities Manager. Enjoy!

Leon, Chris, and Mike (L-R) in our warehouse

Mike McNamara, Inventory Manager

When Mike graduated from college in the 70s with a degree in Supply Chain Management, the US was experiencing an economic crisis, and with the scarcity of jobs in his field, he started to consider becoming a mortician. Instead, he found a supply chain & logistics job with Kraft Foods, where he stayed until his (first) retirement. 

In his 25 years working at the Post plant in Battle Creek for Kraft, he remembers their commitment to volunteering and philanthropy. Beginning in the 80s, when our Food Bank was first established, he and the Post team volunteered in the same warehouse we pack our Fresh Food Boxes in now!

“Later on, one of my bosses was on the board [at the Food Bank], and when my kids were old enough, we would come out and plant flowers and do that kind of stuff. Even when I worked in Indiana, I would come back on certain afternoons and join the team that was coming here from Battle Creek. It’s a worthy cause that I always thought was good.”

Mike’s retirement from Kraft only lasted about 5 weeks until he came full circle and started his job here in 2017. “I retired from Kraft with the intention of working another 10 years or so because I’m not the type of person who can sit around. This job was open for Inventory Manager, and it had everything I’ve ever done most of my life. And I wanted to look for a job that meant more than making money. More than running a business.”

Mike Glew, Logistics & Facilities Manager

Mike’s parents were determined that he would go to college, but he wasn’t. So he went to barber school. Halfway through the 2,200-hour program, he knew he wouldn’t be cutting hair after he graduated (though he does still cut his own). After he finished his training, he joined his dad, a “lifetime bread man,” at a bread company as a route supervisor for seven years. And like his dad, Mike has worked in the food business for nearly his whole life, often entering a new company supervising routes and then transitioning into management. 

He came to the Food Bank as a driver, driving trucks for about a year before becoming our Logistics & Facilities Manager, using his route supervision and logistics expertise.

After years of working long days in high-pressure, high-stress jobs, one thing Mike values about the Food Bank is the culture. “The people here are just really nice and laid back. It’s not like a stressful corporation… and I seem to have a different management style. I tend to get in a relationship with [employees] and joke around, have fun. It really makes a difference in how they approach you.”

“You’ll always find somewhere where you go and something looks interesting, and you say ‘oh, I want to try that’ or they offer you this position, and all of a sudden that’s a great career path.”

Just like Mike and Mike, lots of our team members have great stories about how they ended up here at the Food Bank. In the coming weeks, keep an eye out for more stories on the hands behind the hunger fight!

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