Care & Share reaches far beyond the Springs

Filed under: One on One |

* Name: Gary J. McDonald

* Organization: Care & Share Food Bank

* Position: President/CEO

* Hometown: Milwaukee

* How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Seven-year resident of Manitou Springs

* Education: Dual bachelor’s degrees in business administration, and marketing and Finance; master’s degree in counseling

* A few words about your company: Care & Share Food Bank provides emergency food to nearly 400 other nonprofits in southern Colorado; 200 of which are located in El Paso County, i.e. Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, Silver Key, Tessa, Ecumenical Social Ministries, Marion Soup Kitchen, Springs Rescue Mission, etc. Our territory covers 31 counties and more than 52,000 square miles. This year Care & Share will distribute 6 million pounds of food through our network of agencies to assist people facing food insecurity. Care & Share serves more than 25,000 people each week, unduplicated count. Over the course of the year we serve nearly 100,000 different individuals in our service area. Care & Share is the lead administer of the Colorado Springs Utilities’ Project Cope (utility assistance program) and El Paso County’s distributor of The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Other programs include Food Rescue, Kids Cafes and our Food Purchase program. Ninety-five percent of all donations support our programs.

* Recent accomplishments: Served on Manitou Springs City Council from 2000-03, the last two years as vice mayor. Voted one of the “Men of the Millennium” in 2003 (CSBJ). Per request of the White House, I served on a panel forum concerning homelessness and hunger as part of the Faith Based and Community Initiative.

* Biggest career break: Being in the right place at the right time.

* The toughest part of your job: Witnessing the hunger of children and the indignity of having our elderly having to choose between buying food or medicine.

* Someone you admire: The mothers of our military for their strength and courage.

* About your family: I’m single.

* Something else you’d like to accomplish: Climb to base camp Mount Everest; write and publish books; play par golf. Diversity is the spice of life.

* How your business will change in the next decade: Emergency food distribution at the Care & Share warehouse is currently at capacity. We need a larger facility with larger coolers and freezers to warehouse nutritious food as it becomes available to get us through the lean times when food is less available.

* What book are you currently reading? I am currently spending my spare time on a book I am personally writing. It is a spiritually-based, self-help book focusing on finding joy in life.

* What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? A looped expressway around our city (hindsight is always 20/20).