POCATELLO, Idaho (KIDK/KXPI) - COVID-19 has become a challenge for everyone recently. Some people have come on hard times because of it and they are looking for places to turn for help. We found one and we wanted to help them Pay It Forward.
"If you're hungry, come and see us. We want to help you," said Judy Swenson, a volunteer with God's Home of Compassion.
The food pantry was founded in 2002 in Pocatello. It is located behind Rocky Mountain Ministries on Hyde Avenue. But the real compassion comes from the dozen or so volunteers inside a small building out back. They have served single people to families of 16, from all around the area. No restrictions.
"Anybody who wants to come in. And we don't ask for any identification. We don't ask for any income verification, nothing. Patrons can come in once a week," said Swenson.
Swenson said the patrons are always grateful. The pantry provides much-needed food and basic toiletries, even holiday food boxes and coats. The items comes from community donations. They also order food from the Idaho Foodbank on a weekly basis. The volunteers also pick-up perfectly good food at area grocery stores twice a week, that would otherwise be thrown out.
With the exception of one or two, all the volunteers are of retirement age and just want to give back.
"Because it's fun to do and helping the community," said Carrie Burke.
"Because I love doing it. I love feeding people that need the food and the kids so they don't go hungry," said Berleen Weir.
"Just wonderful to do this, the feeling," said Binita Wheatley.
"We go home tired, but we go home happy," said Swenson.
Time to Pay It Forward.
"Judy, how are you?" said a man walking into the pantry.
"Good, thank you," said Swenson, standing with the other volunteers by her side.
"Good. I'm Kory (Carling) with Mountain America Credit Union," said the man.
"Hi," replied Swenson.
"We've heard of what you guys are doing for the community and we know how hard it is. And out of the kindness of your heart, you are giving back to our community. so today we would like to Pay It Forward," said Carling, pulling out a blue envelope of cash.
"Oh wow!" said Swenson.
"I brought with me today $500 in cash that we would like to contribute to your contributions to the community," said Carling.
"Well, thank you," said Swenson.
"And continue spreading the goodness to everyone," added Carling.
"Thank you so much," said Swenson.
"Thank you so much for all you guys do," said Carling.
"That's awesome," said Wheatley.
"And then we will supplement with the donation that you guys have given us today," said Pastor Sampson.
God's Home of Compassion is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. The address is 845 Hyde Avenue in Pocatello.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at email@example.com.