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Aug. 12, 2022

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Working in Clark County: Tim Hensley, warehouse coordinator at Clark County Food Bank

By , Columbian staff writer
5 Photos
Hundreds of volunteers help Tim Hensley accomplish his job packing, storing and distributing food at the Clark County Food Bank -- more than 50 tons of food a day.
Hundreds of volunteers help Tim Hensley accomplish his job packing, storing and distributing food at the Clark County Food Bank -- more than 50 tons of food a day. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Every day, more than 50 tons of food moves through the Clark County Food Bank. With hundreds of volunteers and a small paid staff, Tim Hensley helps the organization fulfill its mission to alleviate hunger in Clark County. Hensley oversees the storage facility and the work that goes into getting the food into the warehouse. “We’re partnered with Oregon Food Bank and get food directly from them weekly, and also through Fresh Alliance, where we send trucks out to the grocery stores and pick up what they used to throw away. Then, as the hub for 34 local recipient agencies and pantries, we fill orders and distribute to them. We’re ramping up for the food drive season now, so we’ll be busy!”

Name: Tim Hensley

Residence neighborhood: Minnehaha

Employer: Clark County Food Bank, 6502 N.E. 47th Ave. Vancouver;

Age: 38

Educational/professional background: My family moved to Vancouver in 1995 from Anchorage, Alaska. I attended my senior year and graduated from Prairie High School. I received an associate degree from Clark College and then a bachelor’s degree in psychology from WSU Vancouver.

When I was finishing up my degree, I came to the decision it (psychology) just wasn’t really the direction I wanted to go. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but found a job managing a manufacturing team at Syndyne here in Vancouver. I learned on the job, working my way up over 10 years managing the warehouse and production floor. I didn’t need a four-year degree to get my job, but I have used what I learned in college. When you’re training and supervising people, it can help for sure.

Through a friend, I was referred to the Stop Hunger Warehouse, which was operated by the Salvation Army. They were looking for people and I was looking for a change of pace, and I was hired to manage the warehouse. Several years ago, the Salvation Army transitioned out and the Clark County Food Bank came into being. I’ve been with them five years now.

Personal/business philosophy: Work hard and smart, and look for more efficient ways to do things.

Most rewarding part of job: Knowing that my hard work impacts those around me and knowing that I am part of a team that shares similar goals.

Most challenging part of job: The Clark County Food Bank receives, sorts, repackages and distributes thousands of pounds of perishable and nonperishable food — about 115,000 pounds each day — to assist people in need. My largest challenge is coordinating work flow details, while facilitating our diverse partner agencies within a fast-paced environment.

Something surprising about your work: It’s amazing how many community volunteers join us to make this work happen. We have hundreds of volunteers including our farming volunteers, office help, truck drivers and sorters. Without the large volunteer support, we would not be able to run the food bank and all of our various programs. I’m amazed by the willingness of individuals who consistently give so much of their personal time each week. But there is always a need for more volunteers. We have volunteer coordinators who are great at finding a good fit for people who want to help.

Best feature of my Clark County community: There are so many outdoors-loving individuals who have found their way to Clark County. I love that many others also enjoy camping and hiking even during the long rainy winters.

What would make your community a better place: If more people felt an urge to support their community in some way.

What is your favorite travel destination and type: My family and I love to load up the truck and pick a direction. There are so many places to go, whether the mountains or the ocean, we keep most of our traveling here in the Northwest.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: For someone like me — who can’t get enough spicy food — I love Fire on the Mountain. It’s a great place to hang out with a few buddies.

Hobbies: I enjoy spending my time outdoors or doing projects around the house. Hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, snowboarding and canoeing are all on my favorites list. I enjoy playing drums. I’m fortunate that I can play regularly with the worship teams at my church.

Most enjoyable book/play/movie/arts event in past 12 months: I love seeing live music and had the opportunity to see one of my favorite bands, Foo Fighters, play at the Gorge Amphitheater.

Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: I would like to take my family and some friends on a trip to Alaska. I’d like to show them where I grew up and how beautiful things are up north.

One word to describe yourself: Inventive.

Person you’d most like to meet: Clint Eastwood.

Columbian staff writer

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