“It’s wonderful to have this (food drop). It helps so many people,” said one of the food drop volunteers.
At the recent State Food Bank “food drop,” while Morgan Food Pantry Director Tracy Kummer was distributing the grocery items, she was also giving a fond farewell to those she has grown to love and respect. It was obvious the feeling was mutual as hugs and best wishes were exchanged.
Kummer has resigned from her employment with Morgan County. She said this is a hard thing for her to do as she will miss the wonderful people of Morgan and it is difficult to leave. Her husband, Kent, has already left for a job as a lineman in Southern Utah. They will be returning to their previous home in Spring City, which they rented out while living in Morgan for the past four years.
The job description advertised in The Morgan County News listed responsibilities as: help stock and organize the food pantry; package food orders for crisis clients. But for the work Kummer put into being food pantry director for the county, the description just skims over the amount of work actually involved. What she did for Morgan residents was much more than a few words can describe.
Kummer started with limited resources and little familiarity to the community. Her work since 2010 has included many things such as expanding the size and volume of the food pantry and establishing consistent monthly food drops from the state of Utah.
In addition, she has helped pull the community together. She arranged and helped with food for Thanksgiving and Christmas with the Holiday Dinner box. The Holiday Dinner box provided families with all the fixings including a turkey or ham. She organized and assisted with food drives, $5 grab bags at the local grocery store and Eagle Scout projects.
Another accomplishment includes developing the Sub for Santa program. This program gave many citizens the opportunity to give from the heart. She enlisted local businesses who provided drop off locations for cash and toy donations. Sub for Santa brought joy to many who have felt the pinch of the downturn in the economy.
Reflecting back on visits to the Morgan County Food Pantry, Kummer’s empathy and problem solving skills shined as she would ask, “How can I help you?” She was always willing and eager to help those individuals and families in need, regardless of their circumstances. There was no judgment, just caring.
Kummer has had to face hard times of her own and knows the difficulty residents experience when family members take ill or have physical disabilities that cause medical bills to pile up.
Affected by the high waters of two years ago, the Kummers worked alongside Morgan residents as they fought the threat of flooding, helped fill sandbags and watched water levels.
Her office gave information as well as hope, helping with the paperwork to qualify the elderly, handicapped, widowed and single parents with assistance programs they might not be familiar with. Most of these programs did not require the help of a county employee, but Kummer wished to lighten their load.
Kummer helped to coordinate community service through the Scouts, young men’s and young women’s organizations and students. These volunteers worked in the food pantry, helped with food drives and accumulated service hours often working beyond any required hours. Other volunteers served just to give back to the community.
Kummer once said and still believes, “I have the best job in the whole world!” With this move, she hopes to bring the food drop to the smaller communities in Southern Utah.
The food bank is so worthwhile, she explained, “Some that don’t need the box from the pantry can still qualify for the monthly food drop from the State and that really helps.”
Her cheerful smile and optimism will be greatly missed. Thank you, Kummer family, for being part of our lives in Morgan.