ROCKLAND — AIO Food & Energy Assistance will hold a special appreciation open house in honor of Liz Jenkins on October 21, 2021. This community event is open to the public and will be held at the AIO food pantry from 5 - 7 p.m.
"Liz has guided AIO to a new level through vision, passion, and kindness," said Executive Director Joe Ryan, in a news release. "Her commitment and determination have created a community resource that stands as a model for other communities across the country. The work she has done for Knox County is nothing short of remarkable. The event will be everyone's chance to acknowledge her efforts and to say 'thank you."
Jenkins joined AIO as a Backpack Program (now Weekend Meals Program) volunteer shortly after relocating to the Midcoast area in 2015. As a Board of Directors member and then Board President, Jenkins led a two-year transformation of the organization, expanding services and changing the way the organization serves the community.
Jenkins led a successful capital campaign that raised $1.2m for a new 4,000-square-foot facility that provides abundant space for food storage, private offices for energy assistance consultations, and creates a warm and welcoming environment.
"The new AIO facility is the embodiment of Liz's spirit," said Ryan. "The sense of joy, dignity, and abundance is part of the experience everybody enjoys when visiting our food pantry. That feeling of dignity and joy so often lacks for those who rely on food assistance. What AIO has achieved under Liz's leadership is a true reflection of her compassion."
Professionally, Jenkins works at McKinsey & Company, focusing on social responsibility topics. She is also a Nonprofit Development Operations Consultant designing donor and volunteer management systems. Jenkins holds a MS in Management from Lesley University and a BS in Advertising from Simmons College. She and her husband, John, moved to Warren, from Boston in 2015.
"The AIO Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers are eager to express our thanks and appreciation to Liz," says Board Chair Vera Roberts. "Having completed her time on the Board, we feel this event is the perfect time and place to show how much we all appreciate Liz’s efforts towards AIO, and we look forward to working with her in a new capacity."
"This is in no way a goodbye - AIO's mission is stronger than ever - and we have a community to serve!" says Jenkins. "I will be focusing on fundraising and events, so you will still see me around! I can never express enough gratitude for the support, encouragement, and faith that I have received so that we could position this nonprofit organization as a model organization for food and energy assistance services."
Liz Jenkins Appreciation Open House will be held at AIO Food & Energy Assistance on Thursday, October 21, from 5 - 7 p.m.
Light food and beverages will be provided.
Donations to AIO in honor of Jenkins will be accepted during and after the event.
About AIO Food and Energy Assistance: For over 30 years, AIO has provided nutritious food and heating assistance to Knox County families. Funding and access to AIO's programs are more critical than ever, as food insecurity in Knox County is projected to increase to 12.3% overall. Child food insecurity is projected to reach 20% of all households. Over the past year, AIO has supported 1650 individual households and has distributed 8,160 Weekend Meals for school students. AIO's Energy Assistance Program helps families with heating assistance or electrical disconnection intervention.
AIO programs are made possible by donations, financial support, special events, and grants. To provide funding to help support AIO programs, please see www.AIO4me.org or call 207-596-1043.