'Tireless' Volunteer Manages Mobile Food Pantry
Rep. Robert Dold awarded Libertyville resident Jim King with a Community Leadership Award for his volunteer services.
Volunteering runs in Jim King’s family.
King says his father received an award for 5,000 hours of service from Mayor Richard J. Daley; his oldest daughter received awards for her work with Challenger Little League, a baseball league for children with disabilities.
King started volunteering around Libertyville almost as soon as he moved to the area in 1975. He helped organize Libertyville Days, local YMCA events, coached Little League and other events while also raising his family.
In 2000, King became even more involved in volunteer work after his wife passed away.
“I had a lot of love left inside and still needed to do something,” King said.
Richard Hutson, who nominated King for the award, says he knew immediately that King must be considered for the award.
“I know of no one who has done more as a volunteer for his community and church in the area,” Hutson said.
Mobile Food Pantry
Hutson was especially aware of the Monthly Community-Wide Outdoor Free Food Pantry King has managed and coordinated since 2003.
“This program has been going on for 93 consecutive months, and Jim King has not missed a single month,” Hutson said. “He is the tireless and consistent volunteer leader who makes sure each month that he has enough food and volunteers to work the pantry and to distribute the food.”
Hutson says King deserves the award because “he does not seek glory in what he does.”
“He is humble and selfless in all that he does,” Hutson said. “He is so busy doing for others all the time that I often wonder how he gets it all done.”
The third Saturday of each month, the mobile food pantry stocked with food from the Northern Illinois Food Bank, offers food for the hungry and in need in the parking lot of the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville.
King, a member of the church, says he serves more than 10,000 pounds of food monthly to more than 200 families. About 45 volunteers spend four hours each month to run the program.
In the 12 years King has run the mobile food pantry, he says he has witnessed many wonderful kind actions by people paying it forward.
One example was when a young man gave up his space in the line to a family so they could receive a holiday meal instead of regular food.
“I didn’t do that,” King said. “I’ve witnessed more of people helping each other when I volunteer than I do in daily life.”
Pastor to the People
In a letter to Rep. Dold, Brian R. Paulson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville wrote:
“While I serve a high calling as a minister, my efforts often seem quite puny in comparison to the great love and compassion Jim demonstrates every day of his life … I may be the pastor of the church, but Jim King is pastor to people of every stripe and color that come seeking assistance.”
Another letter from Libertyville resident Andrea Moore, further highlights King’s work with people in need.
“People come from all over Lake County to the Monthly Community-Wide Outdoor Free Food Pantry,” Moore wrote. “In the last 10 years, Jim has expanded his commitment to include the Senior Council of Libertyville, which provides programs for more than 700 seniors per month.”
King was inducted to Libertyville Senior Hall of Fame for his volunteer work with seniors in 2006. The next year, he joined the Senior Council of Libertyville.
Helping Others Achieve Their Goals
King says volunteering is not about finding time.
“The bottom line is being willing to help people when and where you can,” King said.
The 40-year Libertyville resident is deeply involved in the community, whether it’s counseling people through problems as an ordained deacon at his church, transporting people to doctor’s appointments, helping a neighbor shovel snow, or providing meals to seniors.
For King, “volunteering is helping someone else achieve what they need.”