We are blessed to have a team comprised of full-time staff and volunteers who are dedicated to serving the nutritionally impoverished in our community and are compassionate about fulfilling our mission. Our team includes the following:
Tonja is the founder and director of Ruth’s Gleanings and provides overall vision and development of the organization. After receiving a degree in financial management from Clemson University, she worked in the healthcare industry for 24 years, owning a medical transcription company for 17 of those years. In 2015 she started a single-mom ministry while also serving on the board of directors for the Hub City Farmers Market, which ultimately opened her eyes to new passions and challenges in her life-long home of Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is committed to empowering people to make healthy choices, both physically and spiritually.
Jeff joined our team in October 2021 and is responsible for establishing and growing community partnerships with individuals, Churches and businesses while overseeing day-to-day operations. With a Wofford College degree in Business Economics, he comes from a 31-year career with Duer / Carolina Coil working primarily in Sales and Business Development. He and his wife, Betsy have 2 daughters and 1 son. He enjoys meeting new people, experiencing new places and spending time outdoors. With a focus on feeding people physically and spiritually, while promoting good stewardship of the resources we have all been given, Jeff is very excited to join the Ruth’s Gleanings family!
Terri joined Ruth’s Gleanings in 2019, first as a volunteer and then as a staff member. She manages food box orders and payments, along with various record keeping and billing processes, and is a vital part of all things FoodShare.
She spent 32 years of her career in medical transcription, then downshifted to part-time work in early retirement and has had several interesting jobs including dispatch in Campus Safety at Wofford College, delivery positions, and transcription. Terri has played piano for 64 years and currently plays at United Baptist Church. She also volunteers with Spartanburg Housing Authority at Archibald Rutledge Apartments. She endeavors to make all our customers feel welcome and appreciated.
Channing joined Ruth’s Gleanings the Summer of 2019 and is responsible for community outreach, partnerships, and produce procurement. He’s originally from Connecticut and moved to Spartanburg to attend Wofford College, where he graduated in 2021 with a BS in Anthropology. He has experience in peer mediation and youth mentorship. A mantra he keeps in mind is “It’s not what you’re feasting on, it’s who you’re feasting with.” Channing is motivated by his own family upbringing and bringing the community together using resources that they already have.
Forest joined Ruth’s Gleanings in the summer of 2020 and handles the distribution of FoodShare boxes and gleanings. He also manages the seed bank and teaching garden. Outside of his role at Ruth’s Gleanings, Forest manages a 30-acre cattle farm and several rental properties in the Wellford/Lyman area. Forest is engaged to his fiancé, Kacey, and they love all things outdoors. He has a life-long passion for hunting, fishing, and farming. Forest believes in the importance of being self-sustainable. He is compassionate, kind and generous. He is motivated by the opportunity to aid others in their journey towards self-sustainability and a healthier lifestyle.
Christy joined Ruth’s Gleanings as a board member in 2017 and transitioned to working in the office in August 2020 to help manage the financial responsibilities of the organization. Christy works as a bookkeeper serving multiple small businesses and organizations in the Spartanburg area. She has been married to her husband, Rick, for 27 years and together they have 3 children and 2 grandsons. Their family verse is Matthew 6:33 – Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you, and Christy strives to live that out daily. She has a quiet spirit that is more “behind the scenes” but she is a great encourager to all those she encounters.
Jacob has a background in biology and psychology and has maintained a business in manufacturing calibration for 18 years. His roots are in Six Mile and Spartanburg SC where he has gained an appreciation of the value of nutritious food in the life of everyone, but particularly to those who have been systemically under-served. He and his wife, Nikki, are proud parents to their son Noah. After volunteering extensively with Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Jacob has found a passion in the mission of Ruth’s Gleanings and FoodShare. Not only does Jacob work for Ruth’s Gleanings, but he also teaches STEM classes to elementary students through the Boys and Girls Club. He relishes the opportunity to help sustain and contribute to the growth of the organization as it continues to work for the betterment of the community.
Ruth’s Gleanings could not operate without the amazing multitudes of volunteers we have been blessed with. We have a core group of consistent volunteers as well as many diverse groups and individuals who come to make our mission possible. We welcome anyone and everyone to join our volunteer team at any level of availability you have. Individuals, church groups, school groups, corporate groups, families, etc, are all welcome and treasured!
Ruth's Gleanings, a 501(c)(3) organization
147 Chapel Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303