Gerry Shehan spent 32 years making sure hungry college students were well fed. Today, he spends his retirement volunteering in the kitchen at LifePath Christian Ministries.
Gerry Shehan spent several years running the kitchens at Millersville University as an Associate Director of Food Service. While he made sure thousands of students were fed each day, he sometimes missed the time he got to spend behind the stove as the Executive Chef, where he started his career before moving to a management role.
When he retired in January 2020, Gerry wanted to find a way to put his skills to good use, and he found a need in the kitchen at LifePath Christian Ministries.
Gerry and his wife made financial donations to the organization for years, but he wanted to know if there was a way for him to do more.
“Everyone needs help these days, and finding good help in the food service industry is especially trying,” Gerry says. “It’s a blessing for me to know I can help out.”
‘What do you want to cook?’
Gerry laughs when he thinks how many times he’s been asked, “What do you want to cook?”
“For me, the challenge and fun is in finding out what ingredients I have to work with and making something good out of it,” he says.
Gerry has often been impressed with the quality of ingredients he can cook with at LifePath. He tries to always find fresh ingredients to combine with the more shelf-stable products, adding color and seasoning that will comfort and fill the many bellies who come through the line.
Each day, LifePath might serve between 100 and 150 people. When the word gets out that Gerry is serving, the line is usually a little longer.
Even though he’s in the kitchen just once a week, Gerry tries to step out and meet LifePath’s Guests filling their plates.
“Many of them never knew who was cooking for them, and they express gratitude for the work,” he says. “It’s nice to know I can do something nice for them – to show them someone cares.”
Taking the time
When it’s time to clean up, Gerry usually tries to chat with the LifePath guest on dish duty that day. He hears their story. He learns some of their hopes. He’s inspired to keep coming back and giving his time.
“I think it’s important to look at the gifts we have and see what you can do with them,” he says. “Keep me in the kitchen, and I’ll do good work. Just don’t ask me to do construction.”
Help us continue our mission
Your ongoing support makes it possible for LifePath to reach out to people who are hungry, homeless, jobless, and without hope. Click here to give what you can now.