Sep. 25—WILKES-BARRE — Rich Kutz, director of the Weinberg Food Bank since its inception in 1996, died Tuesday. He was 69.
Kutz began working for CEO in 1991, said Gene Brady, CEO at the Commission on Economic Opportunity that oversees the Weinberg Food Bank.
"Rich was a member of CEO's leadership team and his influence extended far beyond the Food Bank and touched all of the programs and activities of CEO," Brady said. "He was most visible in the community for his dedication to the Annual Thanksgiving Project and his work with the Senior Food Box program. Through these programs of CEO, Rich has touched the lives of tens of thousands of people — both residents in need of food and volunteers that helped with these efforts over the years."
Brady said Kutz lived CEO's People Helping People mission every day.
"When he wasn't at work, he was helping out somewhere else," Brady said. "He truly lived a selfless life of giving to others."
In addition to his role at CEO, Brady said Kutz was also a dedicated volunteer and leader both in the Wyoming Valley region and across the state. Kutz was a committed member of the Valley Santa team — writing letters, shopping, wrapping gifts and sitting on the finance committee.
"Rich spent Christmas every year at the First Presbyterian Church's Christmas Together, sharing a meal with those who did not have a family dinner or home to enjoy a holiday dinner," Brady said. "Rich was the Chairman of the Board for Hunger Free Pennsylvania and played an active role in statewide anti-hunger initiatives.
He will be missed; this loss is one that will be felt across the community for years to come.
Funeral will be held on Wednesday at 9 a.m. from the S.J. Grontkowski Funeral Home, 530 W. Main St., Plymouth, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in St. Mary's Church of the Immaculate Conception, Wilkes-Barre. Family and friends may call on Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. and Wednesday from 8:15 a.m. until funeral time at the S.J. Grontkowski Funeral Home, Plymouth.