Second Harvest Food Bank distributes 40,000 pounds of food very day in the tri-county area. All that couldn’t be done without the scores of volunteers who help out. Last year, food bank volunteers logged more than 20,000 hours, which equates to about 10 full-time employees.
Saturday, the food bank hosted an All-Star Appreciation Day to say thank you to all of its volunteers, many who have years of service under their belts.
“Every day when they come, they put a smile on your face cause you know they come here to help people,” said Mike Iberis with Second Harvest Food Bank. “It’s just heartwarming to see what they do.”
Gomer Lewis looks forward to Wednesdays. He said he can’t wait to get to the Second Harvest Food Bank on Salts Springs Road to volunteer.
“We sort food, divide it up into different categories and then it’s packed by other volunteers,” said Lewis.
His sisters join him and so does his wife Bettie Lewis who is handicapped.
Another volunteer, former Boardman superintendent Larry Saxton, is part of the Thursday crew.
“I fill the orders for the satellite where they come in and I stack the orders on a palette and load them up right here,” said Saxton.
Volunteering is important to Saxton who said volunteers helped him for 40 years.
“When I retired, I felt an obligation, not only to help with the hunger problem, but to give back, to give back as a volunteer to this area,” said Saxton.
The food bank matches volunteers with their interests and is always looking for help.
“No better way to spend your free time than doing something that you know is going to be helpful to other people,” said Lewis.