Sister Judy and the Heroes Who Fight to End Hunger

Sister Judy Zynda is one of the regular volunteers who make it possible to fulfill our mission. Sister Judy donates her time helping with administrative tasks in our offices, including data entry for our volunteer and financial departments.

As a member of the Order of The Adrian Dominican Sisters, Sister Judy has seen firsthand what happens when many of the most at-risk members of our society fall through the cracks.

“Our congregation has a specific mission to work for women and for the poor, and Second Harvest really helps us carry that out. Women, children, the poor particularly, often get ignored, or people just don’t know about them.”

Originally from Detroit, Sister Judy fell in love with the New Orleans area while serving at a Kenner-area church in the 1990s, and then as a teacher at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.  Her work in the Order then took her to Houston and Seattle. But following Katrina, a short talk with a friend working at a New Orleans-area nonprofit was all it took for her to pack her bags and head back to South Louisiana to be a part of the rebuilding process.

“I just feel at home here. I am one of the people who really loves the city, and I couldn’t wait to come back.”

In her work with the Dominican Sisters, she has seen how quickly people can find themselves at hunger’s doorstep.

“I have met a number of folks who are hanging on by their fingernails. There’s no real stereotype for this. It can be anybody. I think there are far more people than we realize who are a single paycheck away from being homeless, or from needing to ask for assistance with food. It’s just happening so much more in our country than five, ten, twenty years ago.” The work of Sister Judy and thousands of other volunteers at Second Harvest equates to an additional 25 full-time staff members.  They are the true heroes in the fight to end hunger here in South Louisiana.

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