At the beginning of October, the Mercer County Community Food Warehouse celebrated its 35th anniversary.

Following the story we did on their milestone anniversary, we got over a dozen emails talking about the life-changing programs this food pantry has given to people across Mercer County.

Each ended the same, in a nomination for these incredible volunteers for their tireless dedication to end hunger.

That’s what makes all of the people who work and volunteer at the Mercer County Food Warehouse this week’s Hometown Heroes.

“To be able to still stand here and say that we are continually helping people, that we are improving lives, that we are touching lives is huge for us,” said Lori Weston, executive director of Mercer County Food Warehouse.

It’s that love and passion of giving back that keeps Mercer County and the Community Food Warehouse going strong.

A simple mission that some of the people who utilize their services call life-saving.

“That’s important to us, to make sure that those who need it have access to it and that they can find us or we can find them,” said Mimi Prada, the public relations manager.

At the Community Food Warehouse, everyone — workers and volunteers alike — has a heart that wants nothing more than to help those who need it most.

“You know, we do what we do not for that recognition, we do what we do because it needs to be done and there’s people out there that need us,” Prada said.

“I’m overwhelmed, to be honest, and very thankful to all of those folks out there and all of our volunteers — everybody who makes this work. It’s not just us and this staff alone, it’s the whole community,” Weston said.

While they may not see themselves as heroes, the community they serve does.

Whether it’s for elementary school kids, senior citizens, veterans or active duty members, the Community Food Warehouse has programs in place to make sure no one misses a meal.

“It makes every hour that we’ve worked worth it to know that people are getting the most basic human need… and that’s food,” Prada said.

“My heart and my mind says thank you, thank you for this wonderful honor,” Weston said.