Stephanie's Heroes: Marilyn Fantino

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

September 3, 2012

One local woman is trying to keep seniors in our area from going hungry. In this week's Stephanie’s heroes CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell is featuring retired teacher Marilyn Fantino who has been working with JABA's food bag program for more than a decade.

Once a month you can find 80-year-old Marilyn Fantino running the Jefferson Area Board for Aging’s food bag program.

“It brings purpose to my life, meaning to my life and I have a passion for servicing others,” said Marilyn Fantino, Volunteer, JABA Food Bag Outreach.

Fantino works hard collecting and wheeling food in, motivating her crew and filling up the dozens of bags that line the floor.

“Marilyn is a powerhouse,” said Robbi Keyes, JABA Volunteer Coordinator.

JABA’s food bag program feeds low-income seniors. It offers two bags of groceries per month to elderly folks in central Virginia.

“It means it stretches the budget. It means that they can have protein when their money has run out,” said Keyes.

Being a senior herself, Fantino says she quickly learned what it meant to be on a "fixed income" and how just a few extra items in the pantry can go a long way.

As the expenses have gone up from day to day especially basic food needs, basic housing…I realized that everything helps out,” said Fantino.

For years she's been a driving force behind this outreach and that's why the other volunteers are calling her a hero, but Fantino doesn't agree.

“I'm an ordinary person who has been blessed and I've got to give back. When I give I always get,” said Fantino.

She says it's rewarding to know that she's making a difference for so many people in the community.

JABA's outreach food bag program gets most of their food from the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and other donations.

Their supply is low right now, but you can help. If you'd like to donate you can do so at the food bank or at JABA.

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