"There is a population living among us that those of us that have been more fortunate in life tend not to see. They sort of become invisible."
- Jim Hoffsis
My name is Jim Hoffsis and I came to the food bank along with my wife just to volunteer. We’re regular volunteers. We started volunteering after we retired. There’s a crying need among those less fortunate for assistance in a variety of ways, but clearly the most direct is food. And, I might add, good food.
A lot of people live in nutrition deserts and don’t really have access to the kind of produce and fruits and vegetables they get from the food bank here. You won’t see any pastries or sugary snacks or cakes and pies, that sort of thing. It’s just chock full of fresh, nutritious, often organic fruits and vegetables. So, not only does it supply calories, but it supplies real nutrition and some education on how to eat better and there are always people at the food bank here checking blood pressure, giving diabetes advice, and that sort of thing. So, it’s kind of a whole package. It’s more than just giving away food.
Many of the people going through food lines, when you see them wearing the cap with “Served in the US Navy” or a particular ship or Vietnam veteran or whatever, that’s a really sad circumstance to realize that we have veterans among those people that are the neediest.
Another is the number of people who come through on wheelchairs, walkers, with obvious disabilities of one sort or another. One of the surprises is the number of people who are at the same time both overweight and malnourished. I think those two things are certainly connected.
I think there is a substrata of the population of people living among us that those of us that have been more fortunate in life tend not to see. They sort of become invisible. So, it kind of brings you back face-to-face with the fact that they’re there and they need help and we need to do what we can to even things out a little better. Not everybody has had the same opportunities that others of us that have been fortunate in our lives have.