Volunteers at the heart of East Texas Food Bank

Volunteers at the heart of East Texas Food Bank

Tyler (KYTX) -- Fighting hunger takes an army of people working together, that's why volunteers are the heart of the East Texas Food Bank. Ahead of our one-day food drive Thursday, we're talking to a dedicated volunteer and letting you know how to get involved.

"I don't know if the whole community understands, that there are a lot of hungry people out there," Michael Janick, a volunteer with the Knights of Columbus, said.

Janick comes to the food bank twice a month. He enjoyed it so much first with Catholic Charities, he suggested the activity to the Knights of Columbus.

"It gets us out and quite often after we're done here, we'll go as a group and have lunch," Janick said.  

Right now volunteers are making snack packs, but they'll do pretty much anything. 

"We had these 2,000 pound bags of rice and we would package it into small 2-pound bags," Janick said.

It's true. "Almost every kernel of rice, every bean is touched by a volunteer here," Dennis Cullinane, Executive Director of the East Texas Food Bank, said.

The first step is filling out paperwork so that coordinators know your interests. You are encouraged to bring the family.

"If they come in groups, they're actually able to bond more with the groups they work with," Cullinane said.

Volunteers are given a report at the end of the shift, the difference they've made.  

"We always communicate back to our volunteers what impact they had on that particular day. How many bags they had sacked, how many meals they helped us provide," Cullinane said.  

For Janick, it's about sharing his blessings.

"It doesn't seem fair we can eat well and other people are having a hard time and so this is one way we can come and help put food on somebody's table," Janick said.

The Food Bank is open 6 days a week. Click here for information on how to get involved.


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