Longtime Buckley Food Bank volunteer honored

Longtime Buckley Food Bank volunteer honored

Carl Lee has spent 25 years helping locals get fresh food.

A Buckley community icon hung up her hat at the Buckley Kiwanis Food Bank last month after 25 years of hard work helping feed local residents.

At a July 14 rally at the Anchor House Coffee in Buckley, a few dozen friends from the food bank and Kiwanis club paid tribute to Carl Lee for his years of community service.

“(Lee) needs no introduction,” food bank volunteer Paul Goldberry said in a speech that morning. “I just hope when I get to his age I can do as much work as he does. He’s just an amazing guy. … The whole town and all the people they served at the food bank owe a lot of debt. ‘appreciation.

Lee bought and unloaded food, deterred pests, sorted out what food was usable, and met countless families during his 25 years at the food bank. His last day was June 29.

“We’re well supported by the community,” Lee said, such as local businesses like Elk’s Head Brewery donating to keep the food bank going. People who have visited the food bank are often so grateful that they will return the favor by bringing their own baked goods to the volunteers, he said.

Lee, originally from California, has worked in the grocery industry since he was a child. He retired in 1985 and moved to Buckley a few years later where he joined the Kiwanis club. Kiwanis took over the Buckley Food Bank in 1997, when they also asked Lee, who they knew had grocery expertise, if he wanted to help.

“Meeting the people you work with, the people you serve, they’re all nice,” Lee said. “That’s why you like it. That’s why I stayed there.

Lee leads a rustic and hardworking life at home. At 80, he still clears the grass on his 9-acre property with a scythe and cuts wood to heat his house.

Among the gifts given to him on Thursday was a log splitter, so Lee wouldn’t have to spend so much time and effort chopping wood.

But Lee, always hardworking, replied, “Hey, that’s part of my exercise!”

The Buckley Kiwanis Food Bank is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon at 127 North River Ave. It will be closed the last week of July.

Carl Lee has been a volunteer since 1997 at the Buckley Kiwanis Food Bank.

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