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'We meet so many wonderful people!'

Volunteers share experience at Center of Hope food bank

Carol Humphrey, left, and Barbara Reynolds share a laugh in the Center of Hope Food Bank they operate Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Mark Ashton. (click for larger version)
September 20, 2012
SOUTHBRIDGE — For the last four years, they've been weekly stalwarts at the Center of Hope (COH) Food Bank, but Barbara Reynolds and Carol Humphrey have been a team of sorts for more like 50-60 years.

"Since we were born!" insists Reynolds, who was responsible for getting her lifelong friend to help with what they now both view as both rewarding and fun. The two Brookfield residents – though Reynolds is a Spencer native and Humphrey, who was a medic in the Air Force for 20 years, has called Germany, the Philippines, Korea, and Alabama home at times – show up at the Center of Hope every Thursday morning to begin setting up their food bank operations.

Setting up means taking cartons and cans from bigger boxes and bags and arranging them on shelves in the supermarket aisle-sized closet from which they dispense food to needy neighbors. Though based in Southbridge, the food pantry is open to residents "from anywhere" – including, lately, Charlton, Webster, Brimfield, and Brookfield. "Anybody who has a need. People just need to provide us with a photo ID," says Reynolds, adding that clients are given two bags (one box) of groceries per person and can visit the food bank once a month.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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