The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) provides a multitude of services to help Kansas families in need. One of those programs, the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), is a statewide commodity household program, which is on track to donate $2,606,000 in goods in 2017. With 235 distribution sites across the state, TEFAP served roughly 153,615 low-income Kansans in FY 2016.
TEFAP relies heavily on volunteers that so generously give of their time and energy. Without their efforts to help unload trucks, box the commodities and run the distribution, the program would not be possible. Kansas receives a small amount of federal funding to run this program, but 70 percent of the administrative funding goes to shipping and warehouse costs. The importance of volunteers to TEFAP cannot be understated.
One of these generous volunteers has been giving back to his community for more than 30 years. Murl Corbet, a 96 year-old World War II veteran and former mayor of Yates Center, has been helping distribute commodities to his local neighborhood since the early 1980s.
“I got involved [with the commodities program] back in 1983, when I was Mayor of Yates Center,” Corbet said. “We didn’t have a TEFAP here, so I had to send people down to Cherryvale to pick up items from their distribution center. Eventually, we started our own program, and we now serve over 200 families.”
Corbet helps distribute commodities in Yates Center out of the Woodson County Shop distribution site, which serves approximately 505 people in the community.
After three decades of volunteering, Corbet is officially retiring and moving closer to family. On Feb. 13, DCF presented Corbet with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of faithful service.
“Murl has dedicated his life to the service of others, and he is to be commended for his humility and sacrifice,” DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said. “Programs like TEFAP would not exist without people like Murl who are graciously willing to serve others. It’s amazing the impact one person can have on an entire community.”
Murl Corbet was honored Feb. 13 for his service to DCF and his community by East Region Community Relations Director Anita Cooper (left) and Economic and Employment Services Food Distribution Unit Manager Lori Slusser (right).