Volunteer Spotlight: Hylda Wilson's Food Pantry Journey

April 07, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Hylda Wilson's Food Pantry Journey

89-year-old Hylda Wilson is very fond of two things: having different colored headbands that match her outfits, and finding good deals at the grocery store. She shops the Wednesday sale papers at Publix every week, and whatever they have is what she buys. Usually, this takes the form of tuna, black beans, soups, and other pantry staples.

Her daughter, Stacy Sullivan, has worked at JF&CS for more than 20 years. One day, Stacy told her mom about the Kosher Food Pantry at JF&CS, which provides thousands of pounds of food a week to those dealing with food insecurity in the metro Atlanta area. That was when Hylda realized she could use her couponing powers for good, and decided to start donating to the Kosher Food Pantry.

This was around 15 years ago, and Hylda is still donating to this day.

When she began donating, the food pantry at JF&CS was little more than just a closet for food donations. Today, the pantry has evolved into a beautiful, separate building of its own. And Hylda is there every week to make sure the pantry has what it needs. One time, when she went to donate, one of the food pantry volunteers asked if she was from an agency, since she donated so often. Hylda quipped: "I'm from the agency of me!"

"The food pantry is a convenient way for me to give back to the community," Hylda said. "I don't have to go too far, and they are always so nice about helping me. They help me take the food out of the car. They are such nice people over there."

She said that bargain shopping and being coupon-minded runs in her blood; she was born at the tail end of the Great Depression, where food and other commodities were more scarce, and you had to look for good deals and sales: "Even back then, they still had sales, but grocery stores were so different than they are now," Hylda said. "It used to be that if you wanted to eat chicken, you had to buy the entire chicken first! There was no pre-cut chicken tenders."

Hylda plays an active role in the Jewish community around Atlanta, and is always on the go being a social butterfly. One of her favorite past times is watching older movies, and she has enjoyed movie nights with other older adults at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA). Hylda also loves cleaning and organizing, and keeps her trivia mind sharp by faithfully watching Jeopardy every night.

"My mom does not let her age hold her back, and she is very much a 'woman on the go,' even now," said daughter Stacy. "It's great that she's found a way to give back to the community, and that I could be a part of that."

The Kosher Food Pantry at JF&CS is always looking for volunteers, food, and donations to help provide support for our crucial efforts to combat food insecurity in metro Atlanta. To learn more about what you can do to help, click the button below.