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Lou Finocchiaro greets Jose Solis, a Juan Diego Center food pantry client. Photo by Mike May/Staff.

Helping feed hungry is one way for Juan Diego volunteer to give back

For Lou Finocchiaro of Christ the King Parish in Omaha, volunteering his time at the Juan Diego Center food pantry to help feed the hungry is an act of mercy – and of gratitude.

"The good Lord’s given me a good life and good health for a purpose, and I should make use of it," he said.

For more than 20 years, Finocchiaro has volunteered at Catholic Charities’ Juan Diego Center – answering phones, working on the computer, and welcoming and checking in the clients who come to the food pantry. The retiree volunteers from 50 to 60 hours a month.

"You can see when people come in how dire their need is," Finocchiaro said. "Some people who come in here are so hungry, they’ll open a loaf of bread and start eating before they even leave here."

Volunteering also brings a sense of satisfaction, he said.

"I don’t have any real hobbies, and life’s too valuable to waste it watching TV when there are so many opportunities to help needy people," Finocchiaro said.

"It’s doing something useful with my life," he said. "The good Lord expects us to do something with it. I think we’re responsible for that."


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