Meet Bev Johnson — NECM’s Volunteer of the Year. She’s one of the Tuesday team of volunteers. She’s been a volunteer for 8 years and enjoys putting healthy meals together for clients. She shops for the pantry at Aldi’s and stocks and bags.
NECM Volunteer of the Year: Bev Johnson
Having grown up on a working farm in Michigan’s Thumb area, Bev Johnson knows how to put a healthy meal together. With her parents and brothers and sisters they canned fruits and vegetables for the winter and raised their own animals for meat As a volunteer in NECM’s food pantry she likes to help people with healthier food choices.
When the inside of the pantry was closed to clients during COVID she enjoyed preparing bags of food with appropriate choices to put meals together.
Her no-nonsense attitude and strong work ethic benefits the food pantry. She shops for the pantry at Aldi’s, makes sure shelves are stocked, and bags selections from clients. She enjoys the camaraderie of her fellow Tuesday volunteers and knows that she’s doing something good.
“It gets me out of the house. I’ve always worked. It’s been fun,” Bev said. She said volunteering makes you appreciate what you have and “it adds meaning to your life.”
Bev has been a volunteer since 2014 after a long secretarial career with law firms, federal government and law enforcement. After graduating from Harbor Beach High School she earned a degree from the former Northeast School of Business in Bay City.
Bev has been inspired by her late husband Steve who passed away three and a half years ago from cancer. Steve was a friend to many with an outgoing personality, a strong faith and a long history of serving others. Steve also volunteered in the food pantry and with his experience in retail he inspired volunteers to make the pantry look more like a grocery store to make it more appealing to shop.
Steve was active in Berkly Hills Church in Grand Rapids where Bev is still a member. Bev and Steve were members of the church choir and shared a love of southern gospel music.
Bev has one stepson BJ who lives in Grand Rapids, \son Dan in Baltimore, Maryland and four grandchildren ages 10-26. Bev continues to live in her NE Grand Rapids home and also enjoys scrapbooking in her spare time.