MPW savoring partnership with local food pantry

Volunteers from MPW’s Corporate Campus in Hebron, Ohio have been helping the Food Pantry Network of Licking County since last year.

For some, especially those who had no previous volunteering experience, it was a surprisingly satisfying experience.

“We enjoy helping out worthy causes with donations but allowing employees to give their time during work hours is another terrific way to give back to the community,” said Kristen Black, MPW’s Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement. “It gets people excited and shows them how rewarding it is to help others. I’m planning to take my kids when they’re older.”

Groups that have volunteered include IW, Procurement, Executive Admins, HR, Benefits, Marketing and Training & Development. Teams from Maintenance, Engineering, FEM, ICG and the Executive Committee are scheduled to volunteer soon.

Once at the food pantry, MPW volunteers help food pantry workers by handing out food or performing other tasks such as helping with the carts.

Black, who served with the first group of MPW volunteers in November, asked food pantry managers how MPW could best help them.

“They told me they were often shorthanded on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” she said. “A leader of each department is in charge of organizing volunteers each month. Food pantry organizers have been very appreciative.”

MPW Marketing employees, from left, Boone McAdams, Andi Hug, Scott Dame, Michael Lehmkuhle and Michael Zimmerman recently volunteered at the Food Pantry Network of Licking County in Newark.

MPW’s Director of Human Resources Jim Tyznik, who also volunteered in November, said it’s important for MPW to give back because the company receives so much support from the community.

“Visiting the food bank was a reminder of how fortunate we all are,” he said. “I’m proud of the kind, caring people from MPW who have helped out at the food bank. In some months we’ve had more volunteers than spots.”

Tyznik said MPW’s volunteering program aligns with the Spirit of Family concept detailed in MPW’s recent corporate strategy initiative.

“It’s awesome when companies allow employees to volunteer on company time,” he said. “When we talk about the Spirit of Family, it’s about caring for MPW people as well as the people in our surrounding communities.”

The Food Pantry Network of Licking County is a cooperative that was established in 1981 to coordinate the acquisition and distribution of  emergency food supplies by working through its member food agencies. The largest support comes from the local community in the form of cash contributions and food drives. The Network receives funds from the Federal Emergency Management Association and C.R.O.P. Walk, and it is also associated with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Columbus. There are 32 member pantries and social service agencies who distribute food or provide on-site feeding programs for the needy. The vast majority who work to distribute food are volunteers.

For more information about the Food Pantry Network of Licking County, call 740-344-7401 or visit

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