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Video: Second Harvest volunteers stepping up during pandemic

Sep 11, 2020 05:57AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV report here

A group of volunteers at Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank are stepping in to address a shortage of volunteers brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Photo: WDIO-TV

By Ryan Juntti of WDIO-TV - September 10, 2020

Even at 90-years-old, you can find Betty Wahlberg folding mailings at Second Harvest every Tuesday.

She has been doing this for around 12 years, and the pandemic didn't slow her down one bit.

"I'm not afraid. I want to live my life. I'm 90. I don't know how long I'll have, but I don't want to be cooped up in four walls. I'm not foolish about it, but I think it's worth the risk," said Wahlberg.

She isn't the only one braving the pandemic.

At 84-years-old, Tom Goar helps pack boxes, which he has been doing for around four years.

"It's so much of a pleasure to serve the people that kind of need the food," said Goar.

That's also the case for 71-year-old Dave Beran. He has volunteered for the Hermantown Food Shelf for at least seven years, which is run out of Second Harvest's building.

"Even though there's a pandemic, the need hasn't gone away, if it hasn't gotten greater," said Beran.

These volunteers are a constant staple in filling a need that Second Harvest has experienced during the pandemic.

"We saw a surge of volunteers that came in early on in the pandemic, and now we're starting to see a settle in where people have gone back to work. Some of our elderly volunteers haven't come back, so really we are in a space where we need volunteers again," said Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank Executive Director Shaye Moris.

But one thing Moris can count on is Betty, Tom, and Dave being there.

"Of all the volunteer work you can possibly do, what is better than giving people food?" said Beran.  Especially at a time when it's needed by so many.   

September is also Hunger Action Month.

Second Harvest is asking the public to:

  • Donate $30 to help feed a child, senior, or adult in need this entire month
  • Volunteer for one hour at one of their regional opportunities 
  • Raise awareness - share how you're taking action on social media using #HungerActionMonth and tagging Second Harvest at @northernlakesfb

Second Harvest is also looking for program and office volunteers.

WDIO is partnering with local organizations to identify issues and to coordinate our community response. We can accomplish great things when we come together as a community. To learn more about Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, visit WDIO Creating Change.  Be part of the solution.

To watch the original story and see related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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