Our Lady’s Pantry in Wimauma is seeking additional volunteers to assist in unloading food trucks and serving in different capacities at the food pantry.

Many retirees find that volunteering is a fulfilling way to keep active and give back to their communities. In fact, studies have shown that volunteering after retirement can also help with reducing stress, improving your mood and preventing loneliness. If you are looking for a local volunteer opportunity that is making a difference in people’s lives, look no further than Our Lady’s Pantry in Wimauma.

Our Lady’s Pantry has been putting food on the table of hundreds of men, women and children every week for more than 20 years.

“But it takes many hands to make this happen,” said Director Tom Bullaro.

According to Bullaro, the pantry’s two trucks travel throughout Hillsborough County, from Monday through Friday, picking up food from Feeding Tampa Bay, grocery stores and food vendors. Volunteers are needed on Tuesdays and Fridays to unpack these trucks, sort the and shelve the food items in the pantry, cooler and freezers for distribution each Saturday.

The food distribution takes place on Saturdays mornings from 7:30-10:30 a.m. to provide a wealth of nutritious food to people in need.

One essential group of volunteers are members of an organization called Seniors in Service. Seniors in Service involves hundreds of senior volunteers (age 55 and up) to actively address community needs. Whether you are interested in helping kids, the elderly, the hungry or any other community missions, Seniors in Service can help you find the volunteer opportunity that is right for you. For more information, visit www.seniorsinservice.org.

“I don’t know what we would do without the many volunteers from Seniors in Service, who show up regularly on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, week after week to help us out,” said Bullaro. “We really appreciate their effort and their time—especially in the spring and summer, when so many of our snowbirds are up north.”

Our Lady’s Pantry is looking for additional volunteers for its food pantry, however you do not have to be affiliated with Seniors in Service to take part. Volunteers are invited to stop in on any Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday morning and ask for Tom or Anita. Strong men are especially needed on Saturday mornings to help load heavy boxes of food into our clients’ cars.

“We also need some young strong retirees to help us out on Tuesday and Friday mornings, but especially when our biggest order comes in on Tuesday,” said Bullaro. “If you can possibly spare a couple of hours to help us out, we are so grateful.”

Our Lady’s Pantry is located at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Mission at 16650 U.S. 301 S. in Wimauma. The pantry is in the classroom building on the far right-hand corner of the mission campus. For more information, email tom@ourladyspantry.com, call 633-2384 or visit www.ourladyspantry.com.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.