Longtime NEAR Food Shelf Volunteer Jan Monroe Remembered
Volunteers at the NEAR food shelf in Crystal and city leaders are remembering Jan Monroe, a longtime community advocate and volunteer who died earlier this month. Monroe was 93.
Her friends and coworkers remember her fondly, saying “she’d give the shirt off her back” if you needed it.
Monroe was a bright spot at the NEAR food shelf for decades. NEAR stands for north-suburban emergency assistance response.
“She cared so much about people. She didn’t want anybody to go hungry,” said NEAR volunteer Jerry Lissick.
Jan and her husband, Floyd “Cal” Monroe, were on a mission to help the community. Lissick said it’s because the couple knew what it was like to pick up food at a food shelf.
“She and Cal both experienced being clients in Nebraska. So, they were offered the food down there, and they wanted to carry on that tradition,” explained Lissick.
Jan Monroe was a ‘driving force’ in the community
Monroe did a little of everything, from organizing the March food event to holiday food and toy drives. Fellow volunteers say she was a force to be reckoned with.
“It was really hard to turn her down when she called you for a project. She was very persuasive,” said NEAR volunteer and friend Emily Hauan. “If she knew somebody needed something, she was right there.”
She says you could feel the sincerity and compassion in everything Monroe did.
Monroe also worked on other projects throughout the community, including the Isenberg Toy Fest, which brings in items for the New Hope Police Department’s toy drive.
“It’s an unofficial partnership, I guess. We bounce ideas off each other, and yeah, it’s been a great relationship,” said New Hope City Council member Michael Isenberg, who led the toy drive.
Friends and volunteers say they will miss the dedicated worker bee who made the community a better place to live.
“It was crazy the amount of energy she had and just the love for the community,” said Isenberg.
Celebration of Life Planned for March 4
A celebration of life for Monroe is scheduled for Saturday, March 4, at Redeemer Covenant Church, 7801 Brooklyn Boulevard, in Brooklyn Park. A visitation will take place at 9 a.m. followed by a service at 10 a.m. Attendees are welcome to honor her memory with a donation to NEAR food shelf.