By Grace Borhart
The Food Bank Staff
Fayette’s Mobile Pantry Thursday held a heat index of 106 without a cloud in the sky. The National Weather Service warned of excessive heat and suggested everyone stay inside, but volunteers Ralph Evans, 59, and Lyn Garven, 70, reported for duty just like they do every month.
“They’ve gone above and beyond to show up in this heat,” Melissa Schulte, agency relations coordinator for The Food Bank, said..
The day was so hot that the Mobile Pantry had to be moved forward an hour so clients and volunteers would not be outside at noon. Regardless, Evans and Garven worked through the morning, taking breaks only at the urging of Schulte when no clients were in line.
Both Garven and Evans have come to volunteer almost every month since the mobile began in October. Some months volunteers from Central Methodist University join them, but other months it is just the two of them working with The Food Bank staff to sort food and hand out boxes.
“The number of volunteers varies, but we can always depend on Ralph and Lyn to be there,” Schulte says.
Both men have volunteered for Fayette’s food pantry for years, as well.
Evans, who receives dialysis three days a week, even schedules his medical appointments so that he can be free on days the pantry is open. He said he makes an effort to volunteer at the pantry any time he can because, “it’s mostly older people. I’m not as old as they are, so I can still get around and bend over and all that.”
Dedicated volunteers are an invaluable part of The Food Bank operations. Fayette’s Mobile Pantry distributed food to 67 households in two and a half hours this month.
“You meet a lot of people, and it just helps,” Garven said. “It’s good to help when you can.”