Hunger-Fighting Hero: Marsha Abeson
For more than a decade, Marsha Abeson has been an important part of making sure food is put on the empty plates of North Texas families and individuals. In 2002, Marsha began serving on the Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB) board. Even though Marsha and her husband moved away one year later, when they returned in 2008, Marsha reclaimed her seat on the board. As a board member, already donating her time to TAFB, Marsha volunteered even more time in a variety of programs. She is truly a dedicated Hunger-Fighting Hero.
Even before rolling off of the board in 2014, Marsha found a deep tie to Cooking Matters, a Share Our Strength program offered by TAFB. Marsha shared that Cooking Matters is her “first love” when it comes to volunteering. Because of her background and training in nutrition, Cooking Matters allows Marsha to use her skills and give back at the same time. Marsha said “participants are often surprised by some of the things they can do in the kitchen that they didn’t think they could do.”
According to Marsha, Cooking Matters offers unique components to the curriculum. Participants are really set up for success. The classes include nutrition education led by the volunteer nutritionist, like Marsha, and then a hands-on cooking demonstration led by a volunteer chef. Participants assist with preparing each meal and then take fresh ingredients home with them to recreate the meal later. This hands-on opportunity is what Marsha feels sets this program apart from others. Participants are also given recipes that fit within their budget. They learn how to grocery shop on a budget, and how to substitute ingredients while still preparing a nutritious meal.
Food So Everyone Can Eat Better
It’s no surprise that nutrition is what originally drew Marsha to Tarrant Area Food Bank. “Nutrition should be an important component of food distribution,” shared Marsha. It spoke to her that TAFB had a nutritionist on staff then. To Marsha that meant TAFB was not only interested in educating the community on the importance of nutritious food, but in distributing nutritious food as well. Since 2002, Marsha has watched TAFB, and food banks all over the country, move away from offering mostly canned and processed foods to offering more fresh produce, dairy products and protein sources.
United We Stand
Over the many years that Marsha has been involved with Tarrant Area Food Bank, she’s seen volunteers come through their workplace, school or on their own. Marsha says she’s met “a lot interesting people all united in giving back to their community.”
From all of us at Tarrant Area Food Bank, we want to share our gratitude with everyone who has volunteered their time and talent to helping put food on the plates of families and individuals in need. YOU are our heroes. By collecting food, distributing food donations, increasing awareness about the issue of hunger, and everything in between, YOU make each day a little better for those who seek help.