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Harvesters – One of our Favorite Places to Volunteer!

by Suzanne Licata

Kansas City’s Harvesters Community Food Network collects, packages, stores and distributes goods to a network of nearly 800 partner agencies – food pantries, community kitchens and shelters that provide groceries or meals to families, children and seniors in need.

The organization needs a legion of volunteers to help carry out this work and recently about 50 Curry employees stepped away from their jobs – in accounting, maintenance, property management, administrative services, janitorial and more – to do just that.

In the food bank chain of events, after donated food is collected in barrels, at food drives, from industry partners and farmers, it comes to the Harvesters warehouses and that’s where the volunteers do their work.

“Everyone did different things,” said Brynn McCan, senior vice president with Curry of the team’s volunteers. “We were divided into groups of seven or eight. Some of us separated rotten carrots from good ones, others took pasta from bags that had little holes in them and rebagged them using a sealing machine. It doesn’t sound like much but these kinds of tedious tasks have to get done for Harvesters to do its job properly.”

According to federal data, the cost of food eaten at home jumped 10 percent over the year ending in March. Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, reports that when food banks purchase food they do so at much lower prices than what we spend at the grocery store. As a result, donated dollars can turn into more meals. That said, food banks are buying nearly as much food as they did in 2021 but are paying 40 percent more for purchases.

Food insecurity in America continues and the need for volunteers is undiminished. Curry has a long history of supporting Harvesters and they will be back at its warehouses in the future.

“We’ve been doing these volunteer stints with Harvesters for years,” said Effie Tymony, Curry property management coordinator. “So many of our coworkers come. It’s great to work for a company that invites you to volunteer like this on company time. It’s almost like a perk.”


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