Jackie Colby, Newton Food Pantry

Jackie Colby, President Emertius of The Newton Food Pantry. Photo by Steven Sulewski Photography.

The Newton Food Pantry Salutes President Emeritus Jackie Colby!

Volunteer Spotlight: Jackie Colby

Some of you may know that the Newton Food Pantry’s President Emeritus Jackie Colby was instrumental in making the NFP what it is today. Jackie, along with a few of her fellow parishioners, founded the pantry in 1983 in the basement of First Unitarian Society in West Newton. At that time, there were only a handful of volunteers serving roughly 50 clients, versus the 700 clients per month that we serve today. After Jackie retired from her position as a librarian at MIT, she took over as the first President of the Newton Food Pantry in 1993, and remained in that position until 2013. According to Jackie, “I always felt that the Newton Food Pantry was very important, and I spent a fair amount of my time on it, and was very fortunate to have great people to help me run things.”

For over twenty years, Jackie oversaw pantry operations, working alongside volunteers. She was not only the President, COO, and CFO, but was also the “face” of the pantry for an increasing number of clients, donors, referral sources, and city officials with whom she worked. Today, Jackie is still the “face” of the pantry as well as its heart and soul. One long-term client describes Jackie this way, “Jackie is one in a million. She’s generous, helpful, caring, has a sweet smile, and makes me laugh.” Another client adds, “Jackie has a wonderful attitude, and always has a smile on her face.”

We couldn’t agree more with these clients’ assessments. Jackie has been a true inspiration to everyone who has worked with her. Current board President Tracie Longman has this to say, “Jackie is my hero! Though small in stature, she is a giant in terms of the impact she has had on the lives of so many people. She has been tireless in her commitment to eradicating hunger in our community, one person, one household at a time.”

Yay Jackie! Thank you for your over three decades of commitment to the Newton Food Pantry, and for everything you do!