Ken Fowler of Manhattan, Kansas, knows firsthand how beneficial the Flint Hills Breadbasket is to Riley County residents. He first sought out the Breadbasket as a guest needing food assistance, then decided to stay as a volunteer. From offering him support to allowing him a chance to spread compassion and kindness to others, the Breadbasket has a special place in Ken’s heart.
As someone who came from bigger cities like Milwaukee and Atlanta, Ken was impressed by the availability and open-armed approach at the Breadbasket.
“I remember in the larger cities when there was a food bank or something similar, it was really difficult for those in need to gain access,” Ken said. “Even when you made it on the list to receive help, there were very few food options to choose from.”
In addition to better access overall, the Breadbasket provides a welcome variety of both perishable and non-perishable food items.
According to Ken, “There are always fresh vegetables and meats. Just about anything you would want from your local grocery store, you can find at the Flint Hills Breadbasket.”
Ken has been a staple volunteer for the Breadbasket since April 2022.
“I used to always tell myself that once I got established, I would make it a priority to volunteer and see how I can assist others who are going through what I went through,” Ken said. “I’ve always been a caring person and I know exactly how they feel because I’ve been in their shoes.”
Ken’s positivity and kind-heartedness radiate throughout the facility when he’s there. He volunteers two or three times a week, splitting up his time between performing food runs for churches, organizing items in the warehouse and restocking the meat freezers so that guests have access to the best variety possible.
“My favorite part of being a volunteer is seeing smiles on the faces of those we are helping,” he said. “I love going out into the lobby and mingling with the guests and helping them load their vehicles, knowing they are going home with the support they need to provide for themselves and their families.”
The days Ken volunteers are his favorite days of the week because he gets to make a difference in someone’s life.
“If you want to donate money, volunteer or need food assistance, I highly recommend getting in touch with the folks at the Flint Hills Breadbasket,” he said. “If it’s in your heart to serve others and have that lasting effect, definitely go for it!”