Matthew Hochkammer

Pilot Staff Writer

After 10 years of service, Brookings Harbor Food Bank warehouse manager Carolita Briggs has retired.

Ann Paulson will be stepping into the role. Briggs has been the Food Bank warehouse manager for more than 10 years.

Paulson has been getting up to speed with her new job for the past 15 months as part of an internship program. Paulson, a Navy veteran, was encouraged through a Veterans Administration vocational program to find something that fits her personality.

“I got in touch with Pam (Winebarger), the director because I knew Carolita was set to retire soon,” said Paulson.

The biggest change, Briggs said, is the number of people both volunteering and coming to get food.

“We’re fortunate to have great community backing,” said Briggs “the word gets out and the community continues to step up.”

Briggs started by volunteering at the food bank two days a week “and then it went to four and then before I knew it, I was there five days a week,” said Briggs.

Briggs encourages everyone to go out and volunteer their time, even if you only have a few hours.

Executive Director Pamela Winebarger said “Whatever you can donate makes a difference in so many lives.” Winebarger added that people can donate time, money or food.

Briggs explained because of their partnerships with local grocery stores, the food bank is able to purchase food that stores such as Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, Bi-Mart and Dollar Tree, can’t sell for whatever reason for pennies on the dollar. The food bank also receives food from their sister nonprofits, South Coast Food Share and the Oregon Food Bank.

The food bank served more than 300 families, 2,100 individuals, 1,500 children’s snack packs and had 16 volunteers donate more than 370 total hours in April.

Winebarger thanked all of the volunteers and donors and gave a special thanks to the Coastal Music Awards and Wendy Capitano for raising more than $4,600 for the food bank.

“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” Paulson said “Carolita did a fantastic job.”