First person: Food bank director awarded for volunteer service

Nancy Taylor, executive director of the Food Band of Eastern New Mexico, was recently presented the 2009 public service award by the New Mexico Aging and Long-term Services Department during the New Mexico Conference of Aging.

And the award goes to…: When I found out I was to receive the award, I was humbled and surprised. I was nominated by two people I’ve known for a long, long time. Brenda Hankins and Joy Armstrong nominated me. I was nominated for the volunteer work I do here at the food bank and with Altrusa. I’ve been an Altrusa member for many years and served locally, at the district and international level.

Working with seniors: I’ve worked with seniors all my life. I was an only child for 10 years so I was always in the company of elders. I love being with seniors because of all the wonderful knowledge and experience and wisdom they have to share.

History lesson: I was born in Shenandoah, Iowa. In my childhood, I lived in South Dakota, Las Vegas, Nevada, Albuquerque and Clovis. I attended the University of New Mexico where I met my husband. We moved to Clovis in 1972.

Cross roads: I believe my experiences have lent themselves well to food banking. I’ve owned a portable storage business, owned grain trucks, dealt with inventory and worked in the cattle industry. When I was a member of New Mexico Cowbells, we took students on tours of stockyards. On one tour, we were taking a group of second graders across the catwalk and this little girl melted in front of me. There was nothing wrong with her but that she was malnourished. Her parents had not been home for a number of days and she was taking care of her two preschool-aged siblings. She wasn’t eating at school; she was taking everything home to her brother and sister. I never had thought about somebody being that hungry in a town I lived in. We’re all put in certain places in our lives at certain times for, I believe, specific purposes.