Topeka volunteer shortage forces cancellation of monthly food giveaway

Local News
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Topeka volunteer shortage forces cancellation of monthly food giveaway at the Kansas Neurological Institute.

It’s not a lack of food, but a lack of people that’s causing the cancellation of Thursday’s monthly Harvesters food giveaway at KNI in southwest Topeka. The giveaway is one of several mobile distribution drives Harvesters holds each month.

Longtime organizer of the KNI giveaway Walt Hillmer said 50 to 60 volunteers are usually needed for the event, which takes place the first Thursday of each month. But Hillmer said there is a shortage of volunteers this month. He said it is likely because many of those who usually show up are unavailable immediately after the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.

However, Hillmer said this is the first time he can remember when such a shortage of people lead to the cancellation of the food giveaway.

Last month, Harvesters and the volunteers gave away some 3,300 pounds of food to people in the more than 200 vehicles that normally start lining up at 5 a.m. for the 9 a.m. giveaway.

He said anyone who wants to help out with the food distribution next month, on February 7, should report in person at 21st and Randolph to go through a brief training session before the 9 a.m. event. You can also signup to volunteer through this form.

Another Harvesters distribution is scheduled for Monday at Oakland United Methodist Church, 801 NE Chester Ave., according to Harvesters’ website, which also lists fixed food distribution sites such as Let’s Help or the Salvation Army.
 

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