Volunteer of the Week: Bill Mounger says that helping others brings him joy

Published 7:54 pm Thursday, December 28, 2023

This week’s Volunteer of the Week is Bill Mounger. He grew up in Jackson and graduated from Murrah High School. Later he went to Ole Miss and received an undergraduate degree and a law degree. He spent 33 years as a Bank Trust Officer, 10 years as an attorney with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and has just retired after 10 years working part-time as an attorney for the Division of Medicaid in the Vicksburg Office. Mounger volunteers with the Storehouse Community Food Pantry.

How did your volunteering with the Storehouse Community Food Pantry begin?
My wife Denise and I moved to Vicksburg from Ridgeland in 2004 while I was still working for the Attorney General’s Office in Jackson. When I retired from the AG’s Office in 2012 and began working part-time, I had extra time and wanted to do something to help the community. I had heard about the Food Pantry from some members of my Church, and I began working for the Food Pantry sometime in 2013.

How long have you been volunteering at the Storehouse Community Food Pantry?
I have now been volunteering at the Food Pantry for about 10 years and I have served as President and as a Board Member.

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What is your favorite memory while volunteering at the Storehouse Community Food Pantry?
My favorite memory is witnessing the generosity of the individuals, churches, organizations such as ERDC, the Knights of Columbus, International Paper, schools and postal workers who donate funds to us or work hard and donate their time to conduct food drives for our benefit. Also, the hours that our volunteers donate without compensation or recognition keep the Food Pantry rolling in our twenty-second year.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering in general?
I would urge anyone who is considering volunteering to do so as there are many organizations, including ours, that are having difficulty finding enough volunteers to efficiently operate.

What are some of your tasks while volunteering at the Storehouse Community Food Pantry?
There are many tasks that are required at the Food Pantry so that volunteers can find where they can best serve. Some of the tasks I have performed are:

  • Working outside to greet clients who come to us for food and to send their information inside to determine that they are currently eligible for distribution, as well as helping new clients fill out the paperwork.
  • Operating the desk inside the Pantry to determine eligibility and to record each visit so that our records are kept up to date.
  • Pulling the files for clients as they arrive so that their visit can be recorded.
  • I enter the names of the clients and their family members and the date they came to us into our computer.
  • Packing groceries so that they are readily available for distribution.
  • Unloading our weekly grocery order as well as food that is donated and then sorting and shelving the food.
  • Loading the groceries into a cart and wheeling them out to be placed into the client’s vehicle.

What have you learned from volunteering in general?
I have learned that many people in our community need a helping hand and that it gives me a good feeling to be of service to them through the Food Pantry.

How can someone else who might be interested in volunteering at the Storehouse Community Food Pantry get involved?
They can call us at 601-461-8269, send an email to vburgfoodpantry@gmail.com or drop by to see us at 718 Bowmar Ave. where we are open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon or on Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m.