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Why We Serve

For Jay and Linda Mar, volunteering at the Catholic Charities’ Food Pantry helps feed their mind, body and soul.

Jay was first introduced to the Food Pantry around seven years ago through a men’s group at St. Pius X parish in Urbandale, Iowa. He explained that they would meet every Wednesday for Mass and breakfast and then go to the Food Pantry to “feed God’s people.”

“Linda and I feel you should surround yourself with people who challenge you to be the best you can be,” said Jay. “That group sure challenged me.”

Linda would join Jay at the Food Pantry when they needed more help. Now, they can both be found every Wednesday morning uplifting those we serve. Linda normally helps hand out the daily meal bags at the daily window while Jay has now transitioned into doing more support work. He helps keep the Food Pantry organized, picks up food donations and assists with food rescue.

Their favorite part is the people.

“I really enjoy working with the other volunteers here and getting to know the clients,” said Linda. “It’s amazing to see just how everyone is willing to help each other, whether it’s working through a language barrier or taking something out of their bag for someone else.”

“Volunteering at the Catholic Charities’ Food Pantry makes me feel better inside,” said Jay. “It’s addicting. It’s the smiles and the happiness you feel inside from helping your fellow man.”

The Food Pantry and its clients hold a special place in Jay and Linda’s heart. They are grateful for the experiences they have had and are passionate to continue.

“I hope for the day that we can meet all of their needs,” said Jay. “Until that day comes, Linda and I will continue to try to make a difference one Wednesday, one family at a time.”

Jay and Linda encourage others to join them at the Food Pantry and help in whatever way they can.

“It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment,” said Linda. “Come, join us, you won’t regret it.”

“We are feeding God’s people and helping them feel better,” said Jay. “If you want to feel good, mind, body and soul, come to the Food Pantry, come to Catholic Charities.”

For more information on how to volunteer at the Catholic Charities’ Food Pantry or for more volunteer opportunities, contact Catholic Charities Community Relations Manager, Emily Klisares at 515-237-5078 or eklisares@catholiccharitiesdm.org.