Joe Giancarlo is a new member of our Board of Directors, elected last November. He serves at the Foodbank as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where he says his role is to help increase the capacity of the food shelf and meal site partners around the state to better serve their communities. His work includes assessing needs, and organizing processes to connect partners to resources more efficiently.
Joe is also a member of the City Market Co-op in Burlington, VT, which was the first one he joined when he moved to Vermont four years ago. Joe first became interested in working with food while volunteering to earn shareholder hours there. He did quite a bit of gleaning at the Intervale and other farms, which eventually led to his work now. Joe has discovered that cooperatives connect one to community and open doors to new experiences.
He also is a bicyclist! Joe mostly rides on the roads, but occasionally take his town bike out on the trails for bike adventures such as up Mt Wantastiquet across the river. This usually results in a lot of carrying the bike instead of riding it. He used to be a member of the Green Mountain Bicycle Club as well, which is a welcoming group in the Chittenden County area.
Q: Joe, when did you become a member of the Co-op? July 2020
Q: What do you do for a living? I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Vermont Foodbank.
Q: How do you like to spend your spare time? Catching up with friends and family, who all live out of town. I also love to bike and fix bikes.
Q: Are you a member of any other cooperatives? City Market/Onion River Co-op in Burlington, REI.
Q: How have you spent these last 15 pandemic months? Well for one thing I moved here from Burlington for my year of service. Before that, I spent the summer working on the waterfront and getting to appreciate the view every day. Like most, I tried to be more intentional about connecting with people I couldn’t see in person.
Q: What brought you to this area? I was excited to serve with the Foodbank, which has a distribution center here.
Q: What do you like most about our Co-op (now your Co-op)? The variety of places to sit and talk, especially now that the café is opening back up!
Q: What’s your most favorite Co-op food item? The bulk peanut butter!
Q: With what person, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch, and why? I’m reading a book on Ella Baker, a civil rights activist, and I would like to ask her about how she pushed through so many power barriers to create meaningful change.
Q: What drew you to serve on the Brattleboro Food Co-op Board of Directors? A former board member recommended it as a great way to get involved in the local food scene and get to know the community. I am interested in cooperatives and this was a perfect opportunity to help this one succeed.
Q: What do you like the most about being on the Board of Directors? I have been pushed to grow and learn quite a lot about working in a group and coming to compromises. It has been an invaluable experience towards learning about governance and practicing democracy.