Kelsey started volunteering at the Village Pantry in July of 2020. It was the height of the pandemic at that time and changes were made to the way we share groceries to keep our guests, volunteers, and staff safe. She jumped right in and began seeing just how important this work was to our neighbors.
Kelsey has had the great fortune of helping our guests through the registration process on Tuesday afternoons. “I have built a relationship with many of the families who come to us for groceries. I know a lot of them by name and I get to hear their stories each week,” she said. “There is a gentleman who brings his daughter who has special needs, but she loves to make jewelry and she is very generous. I often have a new piece of jewelry when I leave on Tuesdays. The kindness that our guests show to me, our other volunteers, and to each other gives me a renewed hope for society.”
Kelsey not only loves volunteering with our guests, she also enjoys her volunteer team very much. “Our Tuesday group of volunteers has a pretty unique dynamic. We all respect and adore one another. I love coming here not just because I know that I am volunteering for a good cause, but the people that surround me truly feed my soul.”
For more than two years, the number of families coming to the Village Pantry has increased sharply. Inflation, high gas prices, and ever-increasing grocery prices have hit our neighbors especially hard. On July 5, 2022, we served more families in a single day then we have in our entire 26 years of existence. On that day, in just three hours, we served 105 families in need.
“When I started volunteering on Fridays we would see around 30 families come in for groceries. When I switched to Tuesdays, I knew it was a higher volume day. At that time we were serving around 40-50 families but within 6 months or so we were seeing an increase in need in the community,” she said.
“Mission Central is such a caring environment where it is really stressed that we treat each family with the utmost respect. It is not just about getting them the groceries they need but its Mission Central’s vision for a community where each person thrives that is so important,” Kelsey said. “Financial well-being, resume help, and career services are all in the works. I hope that with these tools our neighbors will not have to be dependent on anyone else for their most basic needs.”
Your most generous donation on North Texas Giving Day will help to insure our neighbors will continue to receive much needed groceries during this unprecedented time. Alongside emergency assistance, your donations will help us realize our vision of a community where each person thrives so that the community as a whole can thrive.