Raised in a family of Italian grocers, JoAnn McCullough loves talking about food. Before recently retiring, McCullough had channeled that passion in the service of others by running Meals on Wheels and school lunch programs. Now she has brought her love for food to Abria, where she led a client workshop last August on healthy eating. McCullough came prepared with her outline, but mostly addressed the needs and interests of the clients.

“It got to where it just became a conversation,” she said. “The clients were a delight. They had a lot of questions, intelligent questions.”

McCullough also shared her talent for cooking by providing samples of some nutritious dishes she makes at home. Her food and information were well received.

“JoAnn was an inviting speaker. She included the women in the workshop, and she had a lot of knowledge from her years in schools,” Teresa Naughton, education program manager,  said.

Giving the workshop is just one part of McCullough’s long-time involvement with Abria.

McCullough first started volunteering as a receptionist with one of Abria’s predecessor organizations, Highland Life Care Center. At Abria, she has found volunteer opportunities that used her creativity and expertise in nutrition. She also organized an Easter party for clients last April along with fellow members of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Cathedral of St. Paul.  Their husbands participated, too. The Women’s Auxiliary has also led the card-making activity at the annual Life is Wonderful 5K and Family Fun Run.

McCullough’s husband, Joseph, also joined Abria’s board of directors in 2017.

“JoAnn’s ability to take on new and creative projects is great,” Bridget Ryder, community outreach manager, said. “With her talents she has both served clients and supported the development of the organization.”

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