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Archive for Monday, June 28, 2010

Food bank in east Lawrence faces distribution snag

Frank Bundy, Lawrence, is a volunteer at the Just Food bank, 1200 E. 11th St. The program serves up to 600 families a month, and is in need of volunteers and funding.

Frank Bundy, Lawrence, is a volunteer at the Just Food bank, 1200 E. 11th St. The program serves up to 600 families a month, and is in need of volunteers and funding.

June 28, 2010

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Local food bank short on volunteers

Just Food has the food but not the people to help the bank run. Enlarge video

A volunteer shortage has led to a growing concern that the Just Food community food bank will not be able to provide food to Lawrence families in a timely manner.

“We noticed a slowdown in the summer,” said Carolyn Ward, director of planning for Just Food, which distributes food for ECKAN. Ward said that summer is a busy time for the food bank because “families are spending more of their budgets on food to support their children while they’re off school.”

Just Food and other local food banks serve nearly 8,000 households and 25,000 individuals in Douglas County, but the lack of volunteers has stretched the pantry’s already thin work force.

“It makes it harder for me to be in five places at one time if we don’t have the volunteers to help out,” said Damien St. Julien. The 30-year-old Lawrence resident has worked at the food bank since November, and said more volunteers would mean better customer service.

“When we get a rush of people I have to serve the client, answer phones and organize the warehouse,” he said.

Volunteers are asked to do a number of tasks, from sorting and packaging customer food baskets to basic clerical work. But volunteers said the experience of working with the food pantry clients was both rewarding and eye-opening.

“I was surprised how many different reasons people come,” said volunteer Barbara Meidinger. “Whether they’re homeless or they just have a real problem at a certain time or they have tons of kids and they just can’t feed them. It’s very rewarding to be able to help them out.”

And despite the volunteer shortage, Ward said the pantry will do whatever it takes to get food to those in need.

“Wait times may be longer,” she said, “but I can assure you that no one was turned away and there is always food available.”

If interested in volunteering, contact Just Food at 856-7030.

Comments

Sharon Roullins 4 years, 5 months ago

I've been volunteering for a couple of months now and really enjoy being able to do my part to support the great work that Just Food provides. They have an excellent staff and volunteer support team.

Sharon Roullins 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm not homeless but would be probably categorized as the working poor. I found out about Just Food about two months ago when I was running short of food at the end of the month. I was overwhelmed and felt an obligation to help in any way I could. So the next time I had an off day, I went to volunteer. My girls help also because I want them to realize that programs like this are very important.

Kontum1972 4 years, 5 months ago

hmmm...did ya think about asking the Boy Scouts?

that will be 100.00 for the heads up....LoL!

gatekeeper 4 years, 5 months ago

Why don't some church's arrange volunteers? Sounds like some good summer activities for youth groups.

IndusRiver 4 years, 5 months ago

A volunteer shortage has led to a growing concern that the Just Food community food bank will not be able to provide food to Lawrence families in a timely manner.

Not my problem.

gatekeeper 4 years, 5 months ago

What a kind, caring soul you are. I hope you aren't ever in need. Kharma's a bitch.

brujablanco 4 years, 5 months ago

Drinking from the artichokeheart koolaid once again, I see.

barlowtl 4 years, 5 months ago

You have been very fortunate.....so far!

mom_of_three 4 years, 5 months ago

a good volunteer organization for kids needing hours for NHS and other organizations. Who can't give up an hour or two each week to help since there is not school?

Clark Coan 4 years, 5 months ago

Prior to the 1970s when women tended to be homemakers, there were plenty of volunteers.

1029 4 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Sharon Roullins 4 years, 5 months ago

It's probably the same one that assumed I was a senior citizen and made some off the color remarks. She has issues beyond this story.

deec 4 years, 5 months ago

Maybe the people with a bunch of kids belong to certain religions that forbid birth control and abortion.

supernik 4 years, 5 months ago

that excuse is a bunch of bunk, i'm sorry but what religion/god wants kids to suffer? seriously!

Reuben Turner 4 years, 5 months ago

well i hope the volunteerism picks up. due to the rise of prices at places that used to house little children, like boys and girls club, i can see why volunteers are few. also many have picked up a 2nd income to try and fill that shortage in the household income.

black_butterfly 4 years, 5 months ago

If I didn't work 50-60 hours a week I would gladly volunteer.

pace 4 years, 5 months ago

Nothing replaces you volunteering. Want to know what is going on, what good it does, who it helps, who else volunteers? Volunteer once, then you know what you are talking about, who is working by your side. What kind of help is needed. When you ask the people already working on the problem to go ask someone else it is not the same as helping, it is small minded. . If you want to help and can't imagine volunteering yourself, you should go to the group you think should volunteer and ask them yourself. When I was a volunteer I learned more than about my community , I learned skills. If you are a parent, take your kids, volunteer for a couple of hours. Your kids will remember and learn more from those moments, than if they were dropped off at a movie. I will never forget delivering food baskets to the elderly with my Dad. He always took the time to say hello and be friendly. We delivered more than food. All my life I have heard people say who should do the work, someone else, the elderly, the kids, I have seen many elderly, kids, busy moms, working people, disabled people, working as volunteers. What I usually don't see are the know it alls. One guy with organizational sense can really help , even if it is for an hour. I have never wasted my time volunteering. If you begrudge a family food I feel sorry for you, not them. They will probably do better things with their life than you will.

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