EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – September is Hunger Action Month, and the Tri-State Food Bank is using this opportunity to raise awareness about the fight to end hunger around the Evansville-area. Throughout the month of September, Eyewitness News is going inside the Tri-State Food Bank to meet those working to make a difference; the volunteers.

Sometimes, the groups are large, other times it’s a pair. No matter the number, volunteers at Evansville’s Tri-State Food Bank can make a huge impact across the area. Adam Howe and Darek Buckles with Celanese in Evansville took a few hours out of their day to lend a helping hand at the Tri-state Food Bank. Both men say they were unaware of the facility’s community reach.

“They travel a lot farther,” says Howe, “they’re giving to a lot more places than what I really expected them to, you know, outside of the community.”

The volunteers say the volume of items is impressive, yet heartbreaking. The numerous stacked pallets represent thousands in need of a meal, and Buckles says he can’t help but imagine just how many in his community are suffering.

“I felt very touched in my heart today, and I’m literally about almost on the verge of tears right now thinking about it,” says Buckles. “It saddens me, but if my little bit of time here today can help brighten some children’s and senior people’s lives, then that makes me happy.”

Both Howe and Buckles say their volunteer experience at Tri-State Food Bank is more than just going through the motions. It’s about seeing the direct impacts their efforts have on their community. As Tri-State Food Bank Executive Director Glenn Roberts explains, those impacts are great.

“Every bag that they pack for a kid is food that they’re going to get over the weekend,” says Roberts. “So, they can physically see the impact that they’re going to make.”

Howe adds, “Just getting that feeling of, you know, you’re helping so many people on just a few hours of your time. I mean, knowing that I’m assisting them to give to more people.”

The experience was eye-opening for the men, and, according to Buckles, may alter how they approach future serving opportunities.

“Maybe take a step back and realize how blessed I am in my life,” explains Buckles. “And, in the future, try to volunteer here and in another couple places.”