Each month, 1,400 people depend on Jewish Family Service to provide them with food. And each month, Jewish Family Service depends on volunteers such as Gunther Gerber to distribute food to those in need.

For more than 10 years, this neighborhood resident has volunteered in the agency’s food pantry, assessing the needs of clients and distributing necessary food and supplies to low-income families, senior citizens and disabled men and women of all backgrounds and religions.

After Gerber retired as general manager of a private club, his wife encouraged him to become involved with the food pantry.

“Food has always been my business, and it just seemed natural to continue feeding people in my retirement as I did at the club,” Gerber says. “There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing with my life.”

As the food pantry’s office manager, Gerber volunteers four hours every Friday, opening the food pantry, organizing files, tracking donations and maintaining day-to-day operations.

“Gunther is an outstanding individual,” says Janine Pulman, volunteer coordinator for Jewish Family Service.

“The support he provides to the staff, volunteers and clients is invaluable. I can’t remember what we did without him.”

Pulman says she needs additional volunteers to serve as “big pals” for Jewish youths and friendly visitors to spend time with Jewish senior citizens.

Volunteers of any religion are needed to work with the agency’s “Partners in Conversation” program.

Volunteers visit the homes of individuals and families who are taking English as a Second Language classes and give them an opportunity to practice their conversation skills.

For information about volunteer opportunities with Jewish Family Services, call Pulman at 972-437-9950.