BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL – For Kristen Erickson, volunteering with her peers from Smith’s and Smith’s Marketplace was a lot more than an assignment.
For her, the shift she completed last week at the Bountiful Community Food Pantry was a chance to literally give back for help she had received in a time of need.
“I came here for six months, after she was born,” Erickson said referring to her daughter, Ivy Braun, now 4.
“I was working in a convenience store, worked every day, but they just didn’t pay enough” for her to have enough money to pay for all the necessities Р especially those needed for a newborn, she said.
There was baby formula, diapers and more, all items that the pantry helped supply.
Erickson would visit the pantry once a month to stock up on a variety of supplies.
“It has helped me a lot through some rough times,” she said of the pantry. “I don’t know what I would’ve done without them,” the now-Layton resident said.
That included providing a holiday turkey and access to the Toys for Tots program, enabling her to provide her daughter with Christmas cheer.
She praised the staff at the pantry as “never judging me, never looking down on me. They just helped me.”
Volunteers from the two Smith’s stores came in three shifts last week. They did everything from organizing the front reception area to sorting and shelving.
“We’re thrilled to have this help,” said Lorna Koci, pantry executive director.
Beyond that, Smith’s stores provide a huge portion of food donations as part of a program involving grocery stores in south Davis County.
For more information about volunteering or services offered at the pantry, call 801-299-8464 or visit bountifulfoodpantry.org/.