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High School Student Makes Deliveries to Food Pantries in Parent’s Car

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ChicagoTribune.com

ChicagoTribune.com

It’s always refreshing to learn about young people who are concerned about the welfare of others and willing to do something to help. Amrit Johar, a junior at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois just north of Chicago, is one of those young people.

A few times a week, Amrit travels to various stores and bakeries collecting unused bagels. He then re-packages them at home and packs them in the trunk of his parent’s car, delivering them to nearby food pantries so that the uneaten food can go to those who need it.

Amrit came up with the idea over the summer when he underwent training on how to serve others. He soon started noticing how many bagels and other baked goods end up getting thrown away by bakeries every day. So he decided to do something about it.

After learning about online registries and how to become a verified volunteer for charities, Amrit began reaching out to local bakeries, making connections with several of them so that he could take their unused bagels to several food pantries near his home in Lake Country, Illinois.

The people who organize the food pantries have come to recognize and praise Amrit for his commitment. Some food pantries even started to reserve space on their shelves for the bagels he delivers, knowing without a doubt that he’ll come through for them.

Now that the holiday season is upon us, Amrit has been put in an odd situation. Many food pantries are seeing an uptick in their donations, leaving less room for Amrit’s contributions.

“The hardest part is finding people who actually want the bagels because (the pantries) have so much food,” Amrit explains. “These bagels can feed a family. But once fall came, it was a sudden transition.”

“Everybody wants to give at Christmas,” says Kathleen Murray, who runs a food pantry for a Catholic parish. “Nobody does it in the summer, and we get everything now.”

However, Amrit is in it for the long haul and intends to keep making deliveries when the holidays are over and many others stop making donations. “I’m kind of scared for January,” he said. “I’m going to have a bigger demand for these bagels.”

Amrit is always on the look out for new food pantries in his area that would welcome his donations. More importantly, he’s sticking to his commitment to help others and setting a great example for others his age to follow.