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From Gunnison, CO

Story Type: Volunteers

Programs Used: Gunnison Country Food Pantry

Mary volunteers at the Gunnison Country Food Pantry during Senior Day. She helps many of her neighbors access food that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. People, she says, that “have been hard working all their lives and they didn’t have the ways to save for retirement that there is now.” During her time at Gunnison Country Food Pantry, she has seen grandparents raising their grandchildren, elderly women that have lost their husbands, and people that have been manual laborers their whole lives—painters, ranchers, construction workers—that cannot continue this kind of physical labor in the later years of life.

She knows that it’s hard for those in need to ask for support, but the pantry “makes it possible for them to have help when they need it.” Mary knows that “help with your groceries can make a huge difference when you’re living on limited resources.” Senior Day also offers a time for seniors in this small town to socialize with each other and to feel like they are part of the community. She has seen the enormous affection between the pantry staff and volunteers and the people that they serve. Volunteering at this warm and welcoming pantry, she says, “just warms my heart.”

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