Hope Center Pantry volunteers make a lasting impact by feeding the hungry in Brown County, Wisconsin. The pantry offers many different ways to volunteer. Here’s Allan Callahan’s story of volunteering at our food pantry.
By Alan Callahan, Hope Center Pantry Volunteer
My name is Allan Callahan. It is my responsibility, along with Chuck Jolly, to pick up meat and food products from Feeding America’s drop-off point and deliver it back to St Patrick’s Pantry (now Hope Center Pantry).
Childhood Memories of St. Patrick’s
I’d like to tell you how Chuck and I got involved with the food pantry in Green Bay. I was a student at St. Patrick’s from third grade through eighth grade and have many good memories of that time, especially the sweet roll Fridays! I was also a paper boy during my grade school years, and that’s where I met Bev and Ray Kocha who lived just a few blocks from our house.
Volunteering and Making Connections
I attended Premontre High School and after graduation, I joined the Air Force for four years. When I returned home, I joined the Legion of Mary at St. Pat’s, and we visited patients in the hospitals. It was there that I met a young teacher also doing volunteer work, Donna Kessler.
Retirement Leads to a Volunteer Opportunity
Later, after I retired in 2008, I was to run into Ray Kocha and Donna again. My home parish now is St. Norbert College Parish, and after I retired, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity. There was a notice in our church bulletin asking for help at the pantry. When I stopped by the pantry, there was Donna – the in-charge lady! And Ray was making the food run to Feeding America, at that time located near Omro, and bringing it back to the pantry. Ray had been making the food fun for years and was ready to retire. So, I took over his job. After a couple years, Feeding America started delivering to a drop-off spot in Green Bay, making our job easier.
Positive Transformations at the Food Pantry
Chuck Jolly was a member of St. Agnes Parish and after he retired, he too responded to a notice in the church bulletin. We have a great working relationship and always find enough to talk about! Both of us have seen many changes at the food pantry over the years, and they have all been positive ones.
Building Relationships with Fellow Volunteers
Probably the most important part of this experience for me has been getting to meet and know other volunteers, all from a variety of local Catholic parishes. And Chris and Janice, the new in-charge people, are great people to work with.
Become a Food Pantry Volunteer Today
Volunteers provide an essential community service by feeding the hungry in the Green Bay area of in Northeast Wisconsin. Thank you, Al, and all of the volunteers at Hope Center Pantry. Contact us about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a visit to the pantry to experience volunteerism first-hand. The pantry is open 1-3pm Monday through Thursday at 505 Clinton St. Green Bay. Read the How You Can Help information to learn more.