Lisa Sharp & Her Love for Fellowship Square’s Residents

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When you ask Lisa Sharp what Hunters Woods Fellowship House means to her, the first thing she says is, “family”. Lisa has been a steadfast volunteer since the advent of Covid, serving primarily as a nutrition educator and food distribution volunteer. For nearly three years, Lisa’s work has greatly improved the lives and health of Hunters Woods residents.

Originally from California, Lisa Sharp was raised on a farm with her mother who was a home economics teacher and father who was a dairy farmer. As a kid, Lisa’s grandmother always pulled her into community service, which she credits as the reason why volunteerism is so important to her. She says that growing up in an Italian family meant that food was very important. To her, “food is how people connect, and sharing their cuisines is how you learn about other cultures; it seems like socializing always involves sitting around a table.” Using her love for food from her Italian heritage and the gift for teaching from her mother, Lisa went on to become a dietician in long term care.

Food insecurity is an issue that is very near and dear to Lisa. Before volunteering for Fellowship Square, she was a volunteer with the South Lakes High School pantry and delivered food to those who were unhoused during Covid. She eventually saw a notice in Volunteer Fairfax asking for volunteers at Hunters Woods Fellowship House and answered the call. Shortly after getting to know the staff and residents at Hunters Woods, Lisa mentioned her career as a dietician to Jane Kung, the Service Coordinator, who then suggested holding nutrition clinics for the residents. With a laugh, she adds that, “Jane is a hard person to say no to!”

Lisa’s bi-monthly nutrition clinics have been widely attended, and she feels that having the chance to educate is quite rewarding. Her seminars have covered a variety of topics, from food waste to supporting immune health. Each class is translated into three languages, and Lisa describes those who participate in the clinic as very engaged. She says that these classes have given her the opportunity to become a much more efficient communicator and she has made an effort to include culturally relevant foods in her seminars.

Lisa has also brought her expertise in nutrition into her work as a food distribution volunteer. She has been instrumental in organizing the Hunters Woods pantry, making sure food is stored safely and is distributed as efficiently as possible. Thanks to the work of Lisa and others, the Hunters Woods emergency pantry is nearly always fully stocked and can serve the needs of the residents.