Volunteer finds food pantry ministry rewarding

Michael Marshall has lived in Portales for seven years and is the post office manager for Eastern New Mexico University. He is a volunteer for a food pantry ministry through Central Christian Church.

How did you get involved with volunteering work? I helped the guy who actually started our food pantry ministry. We used to stand outside of Wal-Mart and collect food for our boxes. He left, so I took over.

What is the process of your volunteer work? We used to deliver boxes of food, but that became too costly. Now, we have people who are in need of food that call the church ahead of time to reserve a box of food. We have them call so that we can make sure we have enough. After we have a count of the amount of boxes needed, I purchase those boxes from the Clovis Food Bank. Then, Saturday mornings between 10 a.m. and noon, me, Stephen Floyd and Web Hutchins pass the boxes out.

What is the hardest thing about your volunteering experience? I have to occasionally turn people away who come and try to get food without calling ahead to reserve that box. A lot of time, word of mouth is very nice, but then people just show up expecting a box of food. If we are running low on boxes and I only have enough for those who call in, I can’t give them one, and it is very difficult. Sometimes they just don’t understand why.

Why do you volunteer? I’ve been in some rough times in my life. It’s nice to know that people care and that there is help. Sometimes people are looking for a handout, other times people are looking for a hand up just to get through the hard times. I’ve seen some people that we have helped and their situation has completely changed. It’s just rewarding to know I was a small part of keeping them around and helping them survive those bad times.

Would you encourage others to volunteer? If so, why? I think John 13:35 sums it all up. It says, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Loving people in the hard times when they don’t know what to do is the reason why I would recommend people to volunteer. We have so many different organizations here in Portales that aim to help people in those hard times.

What specific donation or work does your specific volunteer organization need right now? We can always use more food. They can just drop it off at Central Christian Church. We also need more money to help pay for boxes of food, rent and utility bills of those in need. We work closely with the Ministerial Alliance and team up to help some individuals.

How did you meet your spouse, and why did you decide to get married? I met my wife at church. We spent a lot of time together. She is a good listener. She is my best friend. She is caring and loving. I would have been stupid to pass her up.

Do you exercise and if so, why? I do not go to the gym. However, I do walk to stay in shape.

What is your favorite quote? My life (Bible) verse is, “Be still and know that I am God.”

— Compiled by PNT Correspondent Carrie Pendleton