FREEPORT — Fran Stevens, a Yarmouth woman described a tireless volunteer, a wonderful person and the driving force of the local food pantry, received the Carol Kaplan Award for her contribution to Freeport Community Services.
“I take great pride in working at the pantry,” Stevens said. “It is a great honor to get this award.”
Stevens has been volunteering for three years in the food pantry, and according to Family Services Coordinator Sue Mack, is the lead volunteer.
“Fran treats the pantry like a general store,” Mack said. “She is orderly and clean and comes in before she has to.”
The best part about Stevens’ work, Mack said, is the way she treats the customers.
“She is the embodiment of our mission, and exemplifies the motto ‘neighbor helping neighbor,'” she said.
Stevens is one of many volunteers who donates time to the organization. The award is named after a former director of general assistance to the town and is given annually to someone who has a positive effect on the clients of FCS. Stevens is the 11th Kaplan award recipient.
“My favorite part is helping the people and getting to know them,” she said. “I enjoy what I do and take pride and making it look good.”
Bob Lyman, executive director of FCS, said Stevens is the ultimate volunteer.
“Fran works four days and basically runs the food pantry,” he said. “She is an unbelievable volunteer and a wonderful person.”
Lyman said she helps out whenever anything is needed and goes above what is expected of her.
“She has adopted the pantry as her own, and gives everyone who enters the building wonderful service,” he said. “She cares about what she does and makes sure people get what they need.”
He said Stevens helps people break through language barriers and delivers food to people who are housebound.
“I am so honored,” Stevens said. “I hope I can live up to what this award means.”