Chuck Benedict was sitting in church one Sunday morning four years ago when the pastor was preaching about Jesus and Simon Peter.
The pastor was telling the story of how Jesus instructed Peter to feed his sheep and tend his lambs to prove his love and devotion. As he was listening, Benedict got an inspiration.
“I knew I could do more,” said Benedict, a part-time employee at Hy-Vee. He approached his employer with an idea.
“They agreed when I told them about the cause,” he said.
The cause was to better serve the Douglas County Senior Center in downtown Lawrence, delivering them bread.
“I’ve been delivering (bread) for four years now,” Benedict said.
Today, he gets bread from the Clinton Parkway Hy-Vee store, where he works as a greeter, and Checkers.
Benedict, 85, knows life can sometimes be hard for senior citizens.
“Most of them are on Social Security and are really poor, and don’t have extra cash to afford the little things,” said Benedict, who years ago operated a gas station along Route 66.
People are happy for the gesture.
“It’s good and cheap,” said Paul Penny, who visits the center daily to pick up a loaf of bread. “It’s nice to have and it’s good for everybody.”
Sometimes the seniors cannot get enough of the “good” bread and take a little more than maybe they can eat.
“I came in one day and this lady had her arms full with three boxes of bread, and she would’ve carried more if she had the room,” Benedict said.
Since then, the center has put a sign on the table where Benedict places the bread that asks people to take no more than two packages of bread.
“It goes fast,” said Carol Johns, part-time receptionist at the center.
Benedict is glad he got that inspiration at church that day.
“I really enjoy the smiles on people’s faces,” Benedict said. “I love people, and bringing smiles to faces is enjoyable for anybody, I think.”