Volunteering: Bennett works with Food Pantry to battle hunger

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Tim Bennett loads drinks into the warehouse at the Maricopa Food Pantry. Bennett works around 40-50 hours a week to assist 1,200 families battling food insecurity.

He may not make a salary from it, but Tim Bennett has a job at the Maricopa Food Pantry he takes seriously.

“I pull food from the trailers down to the ground, so other people can basically get it prepped to put into boxes,” Bennett said.

It’s hard to define Bennett’s work. He mainly loads and unloads trailers, but he fills in anywhere needed.

“If we’re short-handed on people, I fill boxes,” said Bennett, who also serves as a handyman around the site and even fixes trailers.

You know how some people take weekends off? Not Bennett.

“Saturday is my longest [day],” Bennett said. “I’m there 10-12 hours on Saturday.”

While Bennett is modest about his contributions, Food Pantry director Jim Shoaf is not.
“He works 40-50 hours a week for us,” Shoaf said.

The Maricopa Food Pantry serves about 1,200 families a week. As Shoaf explained, it’s a big operation.

“We’ve got anywhere from 35 to 40 people onsite the days the trucks come in,” he said. “For those days, it’s the same process as a grocery store.”

For Bennett, the days are long, but he said he rests well at night, “knowing that I give people hope, and that I help put food on their table.”

Read about more volunteers.

Editor’s Note: The Maricopa Food Pantry burned down after this story was published in the April edition of InMaricopa magazine. We felt that the fire didn’t diminish the efforts of Bennett and the volunteers at the Maricopa Food Pantry and this piece deserved to be published online. Those who wish to contribute to relief and rebuilding efforts may donate directly via PayPal at: PayPal.me/maricopapantry, or GoFundMe at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rebuild-fund-for-maricopa-pantry-fire