I Caught you Caring: Meet Bobbi Jean Jarvinen

Bobbi Jean Jarvinen does her best to provide for those who suffer from food insecurity.
Bobbi Jean Jarvinen does her best to provide for those who suffer from food insecurity.(Cyle Clark)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:52 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - We’re all dealing with the high costs due to inflation, and many people are struggling to pay their rent, utilities, and buying groceries. In KOTA Territory there are a number of organizations offering to help and their work often goes unrecognized.

Meet Bobbi Jean Jarvinen; one woman single-handedly trying to feed Rapid City’s hungry. She is doing her best to provide for those who suffer from food insecurity.

For the past eight years, she has been volunteering with Jesus’s Hands, a local ministry with a goal to care for the homeless population in Rapid City through food.

Jarvinen’s passion started with helping children.

“I think my ‘why’ in life is making sure that kids have a safe place to be and can be around adults that will mentor them and show them that the world can be a better place, no matter who you are. And so that’s what service means to me, giving back and helping the next generation be ready,” said Jarvinen during one of her Saturday morning feeds.

Friends of Jarvinen say she is an upstanding member of the community. They describe her as “an inspiration to the community. And someone who is funny, driven, and just loving.”

“Everyone knows Bobbi Jean. Iif you were to go downtown and talk to anybody, they’d probably know her. And just seeing how she interacts with everyone if we run out of food at a feed, she’s going to jump in her car and go to Hardee’s and buy 20 cheeseburgers to make sure nobody goes hungry,” said Sara Vawter, who volunteers and works with Jarvinen.

Not only does Jarvinen hand out the food, but she also wakes up early, preparing each Saturday meal from scratch. While the food can range from a simple sandwich to homemade soup, that doesn’t change the care and effort put into cooking each meal.

She added “It’s really important for us that it’s served warm and that it’s a real meal. Sometimes we just hand out sandwiches and stuff like that if the weather is hot and that sort of thing. But for the most part, it’s like having guests to your home, that’s how I take it. I don’t serve anything here that I would not serve to a guest at my home, it’s just on a larger scale.”

Jarvinen says while she is grateful for the recognition, she is just one person and without other volunteers coming out, setting up, and assisting with meal prep, her work would not be possible.

If you “caught” someone caring, please email us at kotanews@kotatv.com and we might shine some well-deserved light on that person.