Mary Beth Kashuba knows a thing or two when it comes to food collections.

One of our customer service representatives in Scranton, she has overseen the food drives at our Customer Contact Center for the past two years. Her start was a pretty funny one.

“In addition to a Thanksgiving food drive, we would run one big food drive once or twice a year where we’d try to bring in a whole lot of stuff at once. Lugging heavy bags of canned goods from my car to the office once or twice a year didn’t seem the best way to do this,” said Kashuba. “I’d be chasing escaped cans around the bottom of my car.

“I thought, the need is year-round and it’s easier to pick up one or two things a week when shopping than buy a dozen things at once, so why not just create a permanent donation system?”

And so, a year-round food donation drive was created with Kashuba leading the charge.

Each time she goes to the grocery store, Kashuba adds an extra box of pasta to her purchases.

“When 50 people bring in just one food item a month, it adds up to a lot of food delivered to the St. Francis of Assisi Client Choice Food Pantry in Scranton,” Kashuba said. “I think that with the food abundance we have in this country, no one should have to go to bed hungry. I hope our contributions help.”

Kashuba is appreciative of the giving nature of her colleagues.

“We contribute to United Way, we have given to Red Cross when the company runs drives after disasters and if anyone [at the center] is out for an extended period due to illness or family issues, we all help each other out,” she said. “One of the best things about our group here is that we are always willing to rally for a good cause, whether it’s a personal crisis or a national one.”

In addition to overseeing the food drive, Kashuba has participated in the United Way Day of Caring, donated to PPL’s Cover to Cover book drive, and has volunteered to read to preschoolers.

What would she say to others about the importance of getting involved in the community?

“I think the key is to pick one or two things you know you can accomplish, no matter how small they seem, and do them. While it might not be realistic to promise to spend hours a week volunteering for a cause, if we all do something, it adds up,” Kashuba said.