Carl Bosse is an organized guy who spent years working on process improvements and leading teams at Kroger. As he prepared to retire last year, he not only wanted to have his finances in order, but also a plan for how to spend his time.

“Kroger works a lot with the Freestore Foodbank, but all I had ever done was bought some ducks. So I decided to look online at what volunteer opportunities were available.”

To explore his options, Carl signed up to volunteer at the Customer Connection Center, Mayerson Distribution Center and the Giving Fields to see where his skills would best fit. An avid gardener, the Giving Fields resonated with Carl’s interests.

The Freestore Foodbank’s community farm provides farm-to-table produce to six northern Kentucky food pantries, ensuring hungry neighbors have access to fresh, nutritious foods. The Giving Fields has two full-time staff, but depends on over 2,000 volunteers each season to plant, tend and harvest the ten acres of gardens and raised beds.

“Most of life is spent being motivated by things like a paycheck or getting ahead. Now that I’m retired, I want to do what inspires me. At the Giving Fields, it’s not just about putting a shovel in the ground or picking a tomato, I’m feeding people. Volunteering connects me to thousands of people I’ve never met as I help the Freestore Foodbank provide them with food and hope.”

As a regular volunteer at the farm last season, Carl took on more responsibilities including supervising teams of other volunteers.

“Volunteering at the Giving Fields feeds my personal need to lead and inspire the people around me. It’s not just showing a volunteer how to do a task, but sharing why we’re doing this: to help Freestore Foodbank achieve its mission. I enjoy helping people learn something new, plus working at the farm is great exercise.”

This season, Carl is sponsoring a row of vegetables at the Giving Fields.

“The Freestore Foodbank can’t just exist on the goodness of community volunteers, it needs money too. And, honestly, it’s a thrill to be able to show people my sign and my row. I just hope it produces a lot of vegetables this season!”

You can sponsor your own row of vegetables at the Giving Fields. For more information, contact Rachel Lampkin, or (513) 482-7090.