A ‘treasure to our community’ helps feed the hungry each SaturdayJan 03, 2022 03:05PM ● By Lindsey Baxter
Millcreek Community Champion, Pepa Taufui, front left, and his team of volunteers at the end of a Saturday morning donation shift. (Lindsey Baxter/City Journals)
If you go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints parking lot on 3400 South and 1100 East in Millcreek any Saturday morning and ask about a man named Pepa, you are sure to be greeted with a huge grin (even under the masks). A Millcreek resident of 34 years, Pepa Taufui, started volunteering his time every Saturday morning, even before the pandemic started, to help families who are struggling to provide food for their families.
Dwight Marchant nominated Taufui for the Millcreek Community Champion over the summer for the work and effort that Taufui has dedicated to the community over the years. In the nomination, Marchant states, “Pepa Taufui spearheads the Saturday morning food distribution for the food bank. The event takes place at the church building located at 3400 S. 1100 East each Saturday. Dozens of volunteers have been recruited by Pepa and he coordinates the effort with the food bank. It is a big job to get it set up, organize and distribute the food to hundreds of folks in need. Pepa has also organized annually, a Thanksgiving dinner for citizens at the Midvale homeless shelter at a nice restaurant including entertainment. Pepa has donated his time and effort for many years without asking for recognition. He is a local hero and a treasure to our community.”
On one November Saturday morning, over 20 volunteers filled the parking lot, each with a smile and nice comment to say about Taufui. Volunteers said Taufui is the heart and soul of each Saturday morning and it’s a delight to know and serve with him.
Just as Marchant described through email, “Taufui isn’t looking for notoriety, so it doesn’t surprise me that he plays hard to find. ” In November Taufui celebrated his two-year anniversary of this volunteerism and when this program began.
Taufui did not want just his picture taken by himself as he said he can’t do this work without the help of the volunteers. Taufui even shared how the Mayor comes out to help distribute food often. Taufui wanted to make sure that there was a special thanks given to: City of Millcreek, Mayor Jeff Silvestrini and all Millcreek City Council Members, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-Grant Stake/President Douglas Sampson, weekly volunteers, his wife Meridian and Utah Food Bank President and CEO Ginette Bolt and staff.
If you know someone you would like to nominate for a Millcreek Community Champion, let us know at mycityjournals.com.