Masquerade Gala Honorees

Get to know the 2018 Meals of Joy Community Impact Award Winners - David Schwake & Cassie Wilkins.  These incredible individuals will be honored at the Meals of Joy Masquerade Gala event held on Saturday, October 13, 2018.  Click her to learn more about the Masquerade Gala Event

DavidPic.jpg

David Schwake

Born in Sulphur, Oklahoma, and grew up working in family bakery. Learned early in life
the value of working. Moved to Arizona in 1980 to work at facility (8 yr) supporting Palo
Verde Nuclear Plant construction. Have since managed an Olive Garden (3yr), the
Perryville Prison Food Dept (3yr), Nutrition Director Litchfield School District 24 yrs.

David has been an active community member serving in all the following roles: 

Agua Fria Food and Clothing Bank Board of Directors, currently serving at president.

Currently serving 25th year as Foodservice Director of Litchfield School District

Selected as National School Nutrition Hero 2017
Board member and Past President (2 terms)

Association of Arizona Food Banks

Past Public Policy Chairman for the Arizona Dietetic Association

Active in securing passage of Arizona Nutrition Standards Bill for K-8 Schools

Lobbied Arizona Legislature successfully for passage of School Garden Bill

Past Treasurer for Shepherd of Grace Church, LP, AZ

Currently Treasurer-Past President of the Friends of the Rec Center in LP, AZ (11 yrs)

Past member St Mary’s Food Bank Board of Directors (15 yrs)

Past Board member of New Life Center (13 yrs)

Current Board member of Trellis (formally

Neighborhood Housing Service of Southwest
Maricopa County (10 yrs)

Currently on Southwest Maricopa First Things First Regional Council (11 years)

Elected for two terms on the Ruth Fisher School Board, President of Board for three
years.

Past Governing Board member Agua Fria High School District

20180726_093639_resized (1).jpg

Cassie Wilkins

Cassie Wilkins is the Executive Director of All Faith Community Services food bank and resource center.  With over 22 years of service to All Faith Cassie has implemented programs to help those in need.  Programs that impact hunger and homelessness, unemployment and education.
With the concept that you can “give a man a fish and feed him for a day” or you can “teach a man to fish and feed him for a life time”. This “hand-up” rather than a “hand-out” concept is what separates what Cassie does from all the rest.
Her hunger programs range from being a contracted St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance pantry partner serving the cities of Buckeye and Goodyear to;

- Providing Daily Emergency Food and Baby Boxes
- Providing monthly distributions of fresh fruits and vegetables to each city through a free farmers
market
- Providing the Commodities Senior Food Program each month for low income seniors and
delivering to those who are shut in or disabled.
- Providing hands on job training in food service so individuals may acquire their food handlers
card and serve safe certification for employment – with the focus being on youth aging out of
the foster care system and those Juniors and Seniors in high school in need of help transitioning from school to work.

Cassie knows that hunger is not the cause, but the effect created by lack and unless we are able to meet the lack only then will we truly help people…. change lives…and impact our communities.

Through programs directed by Cassie more than 1.5 million pounds of resources each year come in and go back out to serve more than 2500 households each month. Resources that can’t be handled by just one. With a strong base of about 100 volunteers and trainees per week more than 50,000-man hours per year are documented. With a volunteer’s time being estimated at $23.07 an hour and more than

1.5 million in resources Cassie’s work in these communities has an economic impact of more than 3 million dollars annually.

Through Cassie’s determination and hard work to impact the needs she knows that, “the poor will be
with us always” but, it doesn’t have to be the same poor.

After the work is done it’s time to go home. Cassie is married 33 years to Joe and has two children and four grandchildren. Cassie and Joe live on two acres on the outskirts of Litchfield Park and are currently engaged in the renovation of their home.