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Davis Journal

Long-time pantry volunteer passes away

Mar 11, 2021 03:00PM ● By Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—Friends and family are mourning the loss of Chuck Swallow, a volunteer at the Bountiful Food Pantry who was instrumental in getting the building the pantry is in today. He passed away unexpectedly last week.

“I call it the house that Chuck built,” said former pantry director Lorna Koci. “He had a big heart and a huge commitment to the mission of the food pantry and a desire to help people wherever he could.”

“Without Chuck, Jed Willhite and Don Westein along with the help of others behind the scenes the Bountiful Community Food Pantry would not be independently operating in the large building that is now serving the community in so many ways today,” said Hall Blankenship, a board member and friend. “The pantry started in the Bountiful Community Church. It started to expand to the point of overflowing. The old sanctuary had been turned into a gym in the 70s and it filled up with food.”

The three men worked together to get approvals from Bountiful City and were able to get a long-term lease on the east parking lot from the United Church of Christ and the Bountiful Community Church, he said. “Jed and Don owned three large buildings in Ogden and a fourth unassembled one on the ground. Together they worked out the funding to move and erect the building on the site and move the pantry from the church.” 

“Chuck worked with companies to do work at no cost or they contributed materials,” said Richard Ryckaert, a former board member and friend. “He was instrumental in getting some carpenters to build cupboards in the new pantry. He worked at the Moran Eye Center until a few years ago and he was able to get a lot of funding through the University of Utah.”

Ryckaert said Chuck liked to be active. “We’d take hikes and he would play cards with people at the senior center. He liked to get out and go for walks and drives. I’m going to miss him. He was a great person and a good man.”

“He was a giving type person and a good friend,” said Westein. “His prominent thing was the pantry. The three of us were the most instrumental in getting the building going. I had a good relationship with Chuck.”

“For several years Chuck has helped with the grocery rescue every Wednesday morning.” said Koci. “He had a big heart. We will miss him.”