Stephanie's Heroes: Paul Harper

By: Stephanie Satchell Email
By: Stephanie Satchell Email

June 25, 2012

Twice a week you can find Paul Harper's jeep parked curbside at a Charlottesville area grocery store.

For the past 13 years he's been picking up carts full of donated food and taking the items to the Salvation Army soup kitchen.

“The stores would throw it away and so we're putting it to the second time use. The stores won't sell it anymore so we put it to a second time use because it's all good food,” said Paul Harper, Food Rescue Driver, Salvation Army.

As he makes his delivery, his hatch is full of bread, desserts and produce.

“A lot of salad came in and we didn't get any meat today, but we never know what we're going to get.
Some days you get very little and some days you get an abundance,” said Harper.

No matter how much food he collects, Harper believes every item can make a difference.

“Every time I can see a different group of people coming in here I know I had a small part bringing in at least the food in that they'll consume,” said Harper.

Kitchen staff says Harper's deliveries always seem to come when they're needed the most.

“Paul is great he is always on time and I say man I wish I had this to cook and Paul comes flying around the door and he brings exactly what I need,” said Barbara Bellamy, Salvation Army Cook Supervisor.

“Just the feeling that you can give back. We are very blessed at all the abundance that we have and there are some people who don't have any we can give back to them,” said Harper.

That's why he says he will continue putting a hot meal on the table with every grocery run he makes.

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