Helpers with mobile pantry at Midvale Elementary know need has no season

Nov 17, 2023, 11:50 AM | Updated: 12:03 pm

MIDVALE — Around the holidays so many of us start thinking about giving our time and talents to those who need it the most. But for volunteers with the Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry, it’s a need that knows no season.

At Midvale Elementary School, it’s true what they say: Many hands make light work.

You could call Carol Jenson with AARP’s Executive Council the team leader then, assembling volunteer superheroes for this assembly line. Eileen Rich didn’t have to read between the lines at book club several years ago when Jenson mentioned a great need right here on campus.

“She said ‘Hey, I need some help at Midvale Elementary with the Food Bank, you want to come start helping?’ We said sure why not?” Rich said.

And that’s how this group from AARP’s army of volunteers formed; with a mission to make a difference. Unlike Santa’s red sack filled with exciting Christmas presents, these bags contain something much more critical than any gift list could spell out.

“It’s enough to sustain a family for a month. Well, it helps. Let’s say it helps,” Jenson said.

And it’s food that gives young people a sure footing to be able to learn and to grow.

“They are the future so we need to figure out how to keep them going and this is a wonderful program.”

But this is more than a way to spend their senior years, staying sharp and giving back.

“It keeps you looking at life in a more positive way. You’re doing something to help and that can’t be bad,” Jenson said.

It’s actually a labor of love that these men and women hold near and dear to their hearts.

Both are former educators, teachers, and school counselors who feel that helping children is a calling.

“Some of them you see them every time and they say hi to you and you get to know them a little bit better,” Rich said.

Jenson feels the same way about helping out.

“My motto has always been that I think I’ve had a really sweet life and so I feel strongly that I have a duty to give back – so just if you can, give,” Jenson said.

“I want to keep doing this for as long as I can but yeah this is special,” Rich said.

Visit www.AARP.org for more information about opportunities in our local communities.

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Helpers with mobile pantry at Midvale Elementary know need has no season