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A fitting tribute

Ruth Johnson of Suffolk is a true community hero who is passionate about the cause of making sure nobody goes hungry.

She goes about this by attacking the problem with a multi-faceted solution. Not only does she participate heavily in food drives at the Kroger store on North Main Street, where she works, but also she serves in the food ministry at her church.

She recently received a “Zero Hero” award through Kroger for her efforts both at work and at church.

“This award means a lot,” she told the newspaper this week. “It shows I can help other people and feed a lot of families.”

Kroger’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste initiative had a three-year goal of donating one billion meals. The company surpassed this goal this year, so they wanted to recognize their associates who helped reach the goal.

Johnson, from right here in Suffolk, was the recipient for the Mid-Atlantic Division, which includes more than 100 stores in Virginia, West Virginia, and some in Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio.

The Kroger food drive gives food to families to cook for a complete Thanksgiving meal. Last year, the donations also included paper goods to help families.

And for the past 41 years, Johnson has been involved with the food ministry at Balm of Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, which also helps the community get access to food that people need.

In these difficult times, where many people are struggling to feed their families because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, what a blessing it is to have people like Ruth Johnson in Suffolk. Her passionate work, both at her job and at her church, has helped keep people in Suffolk fed and nourished for more than four decades now. That’s definitely worth celebrating, and we’re pleased that her employer saw fit to honor her.