Meet Neighborhood Coordinator Marianne Rohde 


Marianne Rohde had volunteered for organizations focused on fighting food insecurity when she lived in Georgia. Upon moving to Chapel Hill nearly three years ago with her husband and son, she was thrilled to learn about PORCH. 

Her son’s school, Culbreth Middle, was collecting canned goods for PORCH, which prompted Marianne to consider its volunteer opportunities. She volunteered to pick up and drop off some groceries, transporting them from the sorting site or a grocery store to the distribution site. 

“It’s so easy to get involved,” Marianne says. “PORCH has so many different options, and the proximity is so close. …”

This past fall, Marianne took another step as a PORCH volunteer by becoming a Neighborhood Coordinator. More than 125 Neighborhood Coordinators organize monthly food collections for a neighborhood or street. They are responsible for spreading the word about the designated day for the monthly food drives, picking up donations from nearby porches, and getting the non-perishable bags of food to a central location. 

Marianne’s territory includes Founders Ridge and Zapata Lane, in an area off of Chapel Hill’s Mount Carmel Church and Old Lystra roads. She’s also working to get a few Old Lystra Road homes on board, which are located on the way out of her neighborhood. In all, she’s reaching out to about 40 neighbors. 

She held her first collection in November and got a great response after sending out an email to notify everyone – it seemed that folks were in a particularly giving mood as Thanksgiving approached. Around Christmas, Marianne took a photo of the food she collected and then emailed neighbors to thank them, knowing that follow-up emails make donors feel more engaged.  

As she continues to brainstorm ways to build momentum, she says she may involve her son, Paxton, who is currently in eighth grade, asking him to choose a theme for the month and going door to door to get neighbors excited to give. 

Marianne is a substitute teacher at Culbreth Middle and is working on her real estate license. She loves working out, walking her dog on nearby trails, and traveling with her family. She’s also proud of the impact she is making through PORCH. She has seen students at school who still look hungry after eating their school lunch. She has worked in a classroom with a snack bin, necessary to help ensure that students are able to concentrate on their studies. 

“I’m contributing to something that’s important,” she says. “Feeding people is no small task. I really enjoy being part of this community and not just living in it. And helping support the people that we go to school with. … Especially where we live, in this bubble of opportunity and so much that we have, there shouldn’t be anybody going hungry.”