On The United Way: Serving Our Daily Bread Every day, hundreds of people depend upon the services of Our Daily Bread for their meals. Located in the 300 block of Cathedral Street, across from the main branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, it relies on dozens of volunteers daily for the myriad jobs associated with feeding those in need. Roger Westgate is one of the volunteers. Westgate has been a faculty member and administrator in the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering since 1966. He is currently the school's associate dean for academic affairs and continues to teach in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As he juggles his various academic and family responsibilities, Westgate has always tried to make time to volunteer in the community. He was, for a long time, a judge for the Maryland Student Science Fair. And now, on several Saturdays throughout the year, he lends a hand at Our Daily Bread, a program of Catholic Charities that provides hot, nutritious lunches for 800 to 1,000 persons daily and breakfast Monday through Saturday. Westgate's involvement with Our Daily Bread began several years ago when his then 15-year-old daughter, Susan, was looking for an organization for which to volunteer in fulfillment of her high school's community service requirement. A neighbor voluntered regularly at Our Daily Bread, and that sounded good to Susan. "My wife and I felt she might be a little young for that particular experience, so rather than dissuade her, we decided to go with her. And we got hooked," Westgate says. His family continues its volunteer effort at Our Daily Bread long after Sue's school credits have been satisfied. Now their time is coordinated through their church. And Westgate says they are called upon to work on Saturday mornings at the end of selected months. "It's not unusual for about 35 of us to help serve 1,000 people," he says. "That number includes a lot of families, a lot of children." Quite often he chooses to serve the food, including tending to individual requests for providing vegetarian meals. "I'm often struck by the individuality and independence of the people who come to eat in dignity," he says. "You get a real sense of satisfaction when you see how your involvement affects people who are otherwise without food."
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