Our Mitchell Street pantry would be nothing without our morning crew. Calling themselves “The Three Musketeers,” Lonnie, Jimmy, and Brian are at the very core of the NourishMKE family. Arriving before the sun is even up, this team makes possible so much of what we do every day. From facilitating our deliveries to making sure the pantry runs smoothly, our morning crew is an essential foundation for all of our efforts at NourishMKE. When asked about the best part of working together, all three provide the same answer: “Everything.”

Jimmy, who’s worked at Mitchell Street Center for over seven years, has devoted himself to the pantry for the very reason NourishMKE exists: connection. It’s the people, the companionship, and the joy of our volunteer team that keeps him coming back. With the city almost eight months into the pandemic, a lot has changed, but not the community: “Even with things the way they are, people are still in good spirits.” Every Friday morning, you can walk into the packing room and hear the Rolling Stones blasting from the stereo. That’s Jimmy — motivating volunteers to work hard and keep smiling in the process.

Lonnie, a neighbor of Jimmy’s, found his way to NourishMKE as many on our team have: through a friend. As a volunteer for three years, Lonnie has become a strong part of the NourishMKE community. One of his favorite things about the pantry is the openness with which others are greeted: “We accept every donation and every person who comes to us.” Over the last eight months, a lot has changed at the pantry. And although we’ve faced many challenges as a team in the wake of the pandemic, Lonnie sums up our attitude: “We just gotta do it.” As for Brian, it’s camaraderie that drew him to NourishMKE. His time with us started as a simple offer to help carry a delivery into the pantry. That small act of kindness has evolved into over seven years of service. Even though our operations have changed and some jobs are now done differently, the root of Brian’s commitment remains the same: “I love the people I work with.”

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