“A Hunger to Serve,” Ensign, Dec. 1994, 56
Clair Hawkins has made a career out of food—preparing, processing, and selling it. He’s also made a career out of service—recognizing a need and doing all he can to fill it. And many times, Brother Hawkins, a member of the Meridian Tenth Ward, Meridian Idaho East Stake, has combined these two careers with delectable results.
It began years ago when Brother Hawkins, along with other members of his immediate family, owned a chain of fast-food restaurants. They would often cater lunches or dinners for various community organizations at no cost. “It was our way of donating to and serving the community,” he notes.
Later, as the owner of a food processing plant, Brother Hawkins continued to be aware of the need for food. He looked for opportunities to give, and every Christmas would gather truckloads of toys and food for needy children. “My wife, Mary, and I loved getting involved. We’d been blessed, and we wanted to reach out to others.”
But seasonal giving wasn’t enough, and Brother Hawkins eventually became one of the founders of Working Partners, a statewide organization that collects food for the hungry. In its first year, the group collected almost one hundred thousand pounds of food, which it donated to the Idaho Salvation Army. The numbers have grown in the years since, and Brother Hawkins continues to push the need to give to others.
Recently, Brother Hawkins was honored by the Salvation Army for his work. “Many of the advances in the area of food donations and public awareness of the Salvation Army’s hunger programs would not have been possible without your personal diligence, help, and support over the past few years,” wrote Daniel Starrett, the organization’s captain administrator, in a personal letter to Brother Hawkins. “Not only have you offered your organizational skills and leadership, but your personal commitment and dedication to the collecting of food donations have been exemplary.”