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Volunteers sought for Mt. Pleasant Food Pantry

| Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Have few hours to spare once a month? The Mt. Pleasant Food Pantry could use a little help.

The pantry, which is in the Mt. Pleasant Church of God fellowship hall, is operated on the last Tuesday of each month.

“My volunteers are essential to our pantry,” said Michelle Sechrist, food pantry coordinator. “Our pantry serves 288 boxes of food each month. To get that number of food out, we need may volunteers.”

Sechrist said the pantry averages 55 to 60 volunteers each month to hand out the food and help clients to their cars.

“We have a large elderly clientele that require assistance at pantry. There is no possible way the pantry could run without my volunteers.”

Sechrist noted that she has plenty of volunteers to help with inside paperwork, sorting and distribution, but needs help outside.

“I am in need of volunteers who can work in the parking lot,” Sechrist said. “They will need to be able to keep folks from parking in private parking lots and private residence's driveways.”

Sechrist noted that she also she could use help with cleanup.

“I also need folks who can come in at the end of the pantry and help with teardown and cleanup,” Sechrist said. “These folks will need to put away tables and chairs, vacuum, empty garbage and condense down boxes. They will need to arrive by 8 in the morning for parking duties and stay until about 10:30. For cleanup, they need to come around 10:30 a.m. and possibly stay until noon.”

Sechrist said she and the other volunteers will provide the necessary training.

Those who want to volunteer must fill out some paperwork before they can get started.

The Mt. Pleasant site has been commended in the past for its organization and quality of distribution.

“The Mt. Pleasant Food Pantry is an exemplary organization consisting of a very hardworking pantry coordinator and volunteers who support this effort,” said Jennifer Miller, Westmoreland County Food Bank development director. “But as we are seeing in most of our pantry sites, they are in need of more volunteer support.

“Michelle Sechrist is a very organized coordinator and goes above and beyond the call of duty,” Miller continued. “She appreciates the help that she receives and believes in the mission of the Westmoreland County Food Bank, which is to enable all Westmoreland County residents who are hungry or at risk of hunger to have ready access to food.”

Anyone who is interested in volunteering is asked to contact Sechrist at 724-542-4003.

Marilyn Forbes is a contributing writer.

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