Mary Magnus: Spending Time in the Places that Matter

Mary Magnus: Spending Time in the Places that Matter

February 23, 2024 in Volunteer Spotlight

When Mary Magnus retired from teaching, she had one main goal: Get out of the house every day. So, when her son told her about Ozarks Food Harvest, she jumped at the chance to get involved for herself and her community.

“The beauty of retirement is I can do whatever I darn well please,” Mary said with a laugh. “When you have a job, you do your job, but when you volunteer, you do things you really care about.”

Mary learned about Ozarks Food Harvest after her son was hired as a volunteer coach. He convinced Mary to give The Food Bank a try, and now she volunteers with Ozarks Food Harvest twice a week and at special events. She’s also come to hold her own appreciation for the organization’s mission and practices.

In particular, Mary appreciates the scope of The Food Bank’s hunger-relief network. By sorting and packing food as well as helping out at special event fundraisers, Mary knows she’s impacting thousands of people across southwest Missouri in a meaningful way. While she’s always known hunger relief is important, her impact really hit home while building bags for the Weekend Backpack Program. It made her stop and think about the kids who would receive crucial nutrients, maybe that very weekend, because of her efforts.

“Whenever I come here, I always feel like I’ve done something good in the world,” Mary shared. “You can’t always impact people directly, but you feel like you’ve impacted them positively by doing this.”

Ozarks Food Harvest has had a positive impact on Mary as well because, in addition to making a difference in the community, she enjoys seeing her regular volunteer friends and meeting new people every week. It’s what keeps her coming back to The Food Bank. “You know, go where everybody knows your name,” she explained.

For Mary, volunteering at Ozarks Food Harvest is a win-win. She gets to help her community while making connections, and we’re so grateful that Mary chooses to donate her time for our neighbors facing hunger.

If you want to get involved at Ozarks Food Harvest, visit to learn more and sign up.