Saturday, March 25, 2023

Pantry Volunteer of the Year has Served for 10 Years

By Juanita Boutin

Special to Hotty Toddy News

The Pantry of Oxford is the perfect volunteer site, according to Martha Kelley, the 2022 Pantry Volunteer of the Year.

Martha Kelley, the 2022 Pantry Volunteer of the Year. Photo provided

She says you can meet and serve great people, participate in the life of your community, be part of a wonderful and smooth-running team, and get your steps in while you’re at it.

Kelley has been a devoted and valued volunteer of the Oxford Pantry for more than 10 years, managing, screening, filling bags, filing and increasing the general cheerfulness of the atmosphere.

She says her favorite aspect of the Pantry is that no one receives a salary – everyone gives their time and effort for free every penny that comes to the Pantry is used either for the food given away or to keep the Pantry running.

Since the pandemic changed the nature of interactions, Kelley misses the personal touch of interviewing clients and getting to know the people the Pantry serves.

When asked what makes for a good Pantry volunteer, Martha didn’t hesitate to say, “dependability” – the Pantry could not function without volunteers who offer their time and then show up to give it.

Kelley appreciates the fact that the Oxford/Lafayette community respects and trusts the Pantry to use their generous donations in the most positive and efficient way.

She looks hopefully to the plans for the Pantry expansion so that more people can be served. She has seen the Pantry fill an increasing need, and plans to continue giving of her time. She recommends the Pantry to any potential volunteer who wants to meet interesting people, feel a solid camaraderie, and help their community.