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Overcoming Food Insecurity

Quad City native Shirley Johnson enjoys going on hikes and bike rides outside, even stopping along her way to pick up litter and trash she sees scattered around the ground.

While she contributes to the community in small ways like that, she also gives back as an active volunteer at World Relief Quad Cities.

Shirley Johnson has been a volunteer at World Relief for a year. She found out about the organization through her church, and she enjoys helping out at the beginning of every month with the food pantry for World Relief.

The first Monday and Friday of each month Shirley comes in and helps unload and organize the food so it’s ready to give out. Typically, Shirley said they serve 70-80 families.

While her time commitment to World Relief is relatively low, Shirley said she loves the organization and helping in any way she can with the time commitment she gives.

“It’s fun meeting the other volunteers and staff members, they are all very upbeat and very enthusiastic about what they do and it’s a contagious feeling,” Shirley said. “It’s just a win-win for clients and the people who work there.”

Shirley said since she retired, she’s found her niche in food pantry volunteering. In addition to her work at World Relief, she also helps at Rocky high school and the River Bend food bank.

The time she gives is to help provide food for those that need it, especially at World Relief. “Food security is one of multiple challenges that people face when coming to this country,” Shirley said.

But at World Relief, Shirley said that she’s also gained something for herself, and that’s an appreciation for the challenges that families immigrating to this country face.

“I’m just impressed by all these families and how brave they are…to come to another country and not know the language with a completely different daily life,” Shirley said. “I’m just in awe of these families.”

Shirley, we are in awe of you. Thank you for all you do!

Written by Olivia Doak

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