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Volunteer Changes Lives of Thousands of Hammond Residents

“We’ve got a trucker! He’s got two palates of five pound bags of potatoes. Do we have room in the cooler?” Kay asks with excitement.

“I’m sure we do. Take ‘em!” Myrna replies.

In the food business, it’s all about relationships, says Myrna Jordan, volunteer Executive Director of Our Daily Bread Food Bank in Hammond, LA.

See Also: Award Named for AARP Founder

Truckers, dispatchers, suppliers, grocers and growers know Jordan will find room at the food bank to store their leftovers.

“Jesus said feed the poor – gather the pieces that are left over and let nothing be wasted,” says Jordan. “We practice that daily.”

There aren’t many people in the Tangipahoa parish community who don’t know the energetic and dedicated 75-year-old Jordan.

She and her husband have lived here for over 40 years, raising three children.

But more importantly, Jordan helps to positively change the lives of thousands of Hammond residents each and every day.

“Many of the people we serve have worked their entire lives but don’t have enough income to buy food. It’s my job to serve them. They are a blessing to me,” Jordan says.

AARP Louisiana awarded Jordan as the 2011 winner of the AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service award, the association’s most prestigious and visible volunteer award for community service.

The award symbolizes an individual’s power and ability to make a difference in the lives of others, a sentiment echoed in words from Kay Lopez, the long-time friend and co-worker who nominated Jordan for the award.

“Myrna is such a positive example to everyone she comes in contact with,” Lopez wrote in the award application. “She’s a people’s person and will make you feel like you have known her for your whole life the first time you meet her.”

Jordan has been making a difference in Tangipahoa Parish for years in various capacities at her local church and with other organizations, most noticeably the Our Daily Bread food bank.
 
Our Daily Bread was founded as an inter-faith food rescue ministry in 1999. By 2001, the food bank was serving just 350 households in Tangipahoa Parish and the doors of the operation threatened to close.

That changed when Jordan was named volunteer Executive Director in late 2001. Our Daily Bread has become a thriving service that helps over 30,000 Tangipahoa families each year under Jordan’s leadership.
 
Lopez, like many Tangipahoa residents, credit Our Daily Bread’s success to Jordan’s vision, energy and dedication.

“Myrna is a shining example of what can be accomplished when someone has the will to make a difference and the heart of a volunteer,” Brenda Hatfield, AARP Louisiana State President says. “People like Myrna are why I’m proud to be an AARP volunteer for Louisiana. We are so lucky to have her as an inspiration for others who want to help change the world, one community at a time.”

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