Super Senior: Dick Smith

Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Dick Smith is back to a place he worships. The Trinity United Methodist Church in Montpelier is where the 79-year-old volunteers.

After months of self-exile because of COVID-19, Smith’s back to help feed people in need, like Eric Norkedeck.

“I would say it’s a blessing,” Norkedeck said.

The Montpelier Food Pantry is in the back of the church, but what’s cooking up front is a hot meal for 60 people.

“I look forward to getting together with the folks on Thursday and see what’s happening to see what’s new,” Smith said.

Smith has been a member and volunteer, along with his wife Kathleen, since the ’80s. His professional life started as a teacher and then a prison guard, ending his career at the Vermont Department of Corrections.

Reporter Joe Carroll: These people are in prison because they did some bad things, right? Do you see the good in all?

Dick Smith: I think there’s good in everyone. I think they made some bad choices... I think everyone at some point can make some changes.

The meals are for anyone. No questions asked. They’ve seen an uptick lately in demand.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you think it’s because it’s more people comfortable about getting out, or there’s more need?

Dick Smith: I think it’s there’s more need. I think it’s a little of both.

The meals are now brown-bagged -- no more sit down meals to limit the size of the crowds inside the church. Smith shares the volunteer duties with Chrystal Crane and Kevin and Kathy Reed.

At 11:30, people start lining up, and for the next hour, Smith is the go-to guy as he brings out meals to the hungry.

A Super Senior who sees the best in all of us and without fanfare makes the world a bit nicer. “Basically it’s the people that’s the focus,” he said.

Feeding the people and nourishing the soul.

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