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The gift of time: Kevin Miller puts culinary skills to good use at Second Harvest

Second Harvest lead volunteer Kevin Miller helps out at Tom’s Turkey Drive. (Azaria Podplesky / The Spokesman-Review)
Second Harvest lead volunteer Kevin Miller helps out at Tom’s Turkey Drive. (Azaria Podplesky / The Spokesman-Review)

His name is Kevin Miller, but around Second Harvest he’s affectionately known as “Socks.”

Looking at the neon-green knee-highs he was wearing while loading Tom’s Turkey Drive bags into a truck at Rosauers last week, it was easy to see why.

Miller has volunteered with Second Harvest for between six and eight years, often spending at least four days a week at the volunteer center.

“I’d used the food bank and was there one day and saw what they were doing and decided it looked like it was fun,” he said.

He’s done a lot of work in the sorting room and has helped with volunteer drives, but Miller really shines in the distribution center’s kitchen, which opened about two and a half years ago.

Once a week, Miller teaches free cooking classes to people who visit Second Harvest. He got involved with the kitchen after seeing clients leave certain products behind because they weren’t sure how to use them.

“After the kitchen got made, it was like ‘This is really where I want to be because with 15 minutes, we can show you what to do with any of those products,’ ” he said. “I really believe in the mission, and the kitchen just completes the whole circle of what the mission statement is.”

Where does his culinary know-how come from?

“I love to eat,” he said with a laugh.

Miller also helps with the mobile food bank, preparing samples of products available on the truck each day.

He enjoys volunteering in this capacity too, as it lets him interact with even more members of the community.

“When you work in the sort room, you know that all goes to a good cause, but when you get out with the mobile truck like that and the people start coming in, there’s really nothing that compares,” he said.

But no matter where he’s volunteering, Miller is just happy he can lend a hand.

“I’m passionate about the mission, and you can’t hang around with a better bunch of people,” he said. “We all have a really good time and we know that everything we do goes to a really good cause.”

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