Sometimes, deep friendships can form in unexpected places. Michelle Savage has been a volunteer with Harvesters since 2006. After the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she returned to give her time and met two other volunteers named Jane Temple and Marcia Nana. They enjoyed each other so much that they decided to band together and keep volunteering as a group. They even came up with a name: the Grunt Girls. 

“The name arose because we were talking about how some of our friends would never come down here and do what we do because it’s a little ‘beneath them’,” Michelle says. “So, I said, you know, we’re like Marines, we’re grunts. We come in and do all the grunt work. All the hard work goes to the grunts. I love it. I have a great time.” 

When the Grunt girls get together to serve, they are a force to be reckoned with. Their jovial spirit is contagious, and they are favorites with staff and other volunteers. 

“If we come in and we’re in a bad mood, and we’re here with everybody, we go home in a very happy mood,” Michelle says. “It’s something that’s good for us.” 

Even though they benefit personally, Michelle admits that what really drives her volunteering is knowing that she’s making an impact in the community. And she wants others to join in the cause. 

“I don’t think anybody in eastern Kansas or western Missouri should ever be hungry,” she says. “There are way too many pantries and way too much food. So give money, give food and give time, because it’s very important!”