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Dozens volunteer at food bank for Day of Service

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 3:34 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Dozens of people spent part of their morning at Food Bank for the Heartland packing up boxes of food for people in need.

The volunteer center at the food bank is typically closed on Mondays, but it was open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the National Day of Service.

“The last couple of years we have opened for a special shift on Martin Luther King Jr. day to honor the legacy of this wonderful civil rights leader,” said Angie Grote, with Food Bank for the Heartland.

The volunteers were made up of students, families, and neighbors who packed up 1,376 boxes of non-perishable food for the food bank’s community boxes program, and 386 bags of food for the food bank’s backpack program.

Angie Grote says food insecurity has risen by about 40% across the 93 counties the food bank serves. Last year, the food bank distributed the most meals ever in its 40 years history.

“We’re seeing a lot of families who never expected to be in a situation where they might not have access to the food that they need,” she said.

Ashley Carroll volunteered Monday morning with her husband and 2 daughters.

“That hurt that you feel when you know that others don’t have enough to eat, and there’s so much turmoil and anguish in our country right now, so just putting a little positivity into the universe is really cathartic,” said Carroll.

Service is in her family’s blood.

Her husband, Vince, is in the military, and Ashley herself worked in non-profits.

“Service is the way we live and breathe and we’re trying to chart that course for our kiddos, too,” she said.

A group of 10 Creighton Prep students was among the volunteers, including sophomore Colton Schmaderer.

“I think anyone would be glad to be out here lending a hand in any way they can,” he said.

The students were invited to volunteer at the Food Bank through a school club, Operation Others, and Colton says he wasted no time signing up.

“It’s important to give back to people in need because if we don’t, it can be hard to see that there are people in need, so coming out here, it helps open your eyes a little bit to the needs of people in the community,” he said.

The volunteers spent about 2 hours at Food Bank for the Heartland Monday morning.

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