Since North Helpline/Lake City Food Bank’s inception in 2001, Bob Hathaway has been one of our biggest supporters. He gives of his time, his resources, and most importantly, his heart.
As soon as word went out that a new food bank was coming to his community, Bob began making inquiries to see what it was he could do to help. He began by helping set up the configuration for the food bank distribution lines. He used his expertise from years in the restaurant industry to make the process as humane and efficient as possible in a relatively small space. “It’s hard enough to go through a tough financial time,” he explains. “I wanted to create an environment that respected the dignity of the clients who used it.”
When the food bank was finally ready to open our doors, Bob volunteered to order all of the food that would be needed to be able to distribute well rounded, nutritional meals to all of the families that came to the food bank. He not only set up the food for ease in distribution every Friday and Saturday, but he made sure he was here to continually stock the selections as the food was distributed.
Bob was also one of the original Board of Directors members and only resigned several years ago as he started to pursue a college degree. Today, he continues to come in every Saturday without fail to stock the tables and direct the volunteers on distribution day. Throughout the years, as we have gone from serving 150 to 650 families each week, Bob has been here to help configure new line ups to make sure people not only have choices but that they are served in an efficient and comfortable manner.
Bob works at the Wedgwood Alehouse and has raised thousands of dollars for North Helpline through their annual golf tournament. He also convinced the restaurant to host a “dine-out” event to benefit North Helpline/Lake City Foodbank. He has made it his mission to let all of the Alehouse’s customers know about the work that is done at the food bank and the ways in which they might help.
The food bank relies on over 200 volunteers each week to keep operations running smoothly. Bob has taken every opportunity to recruit family, friends and even complete strangers to volunteer their time at North Helpline. And we have received thousands of dollars in donations because Bob makes sure those he comes in contact with know of our service to the community. He has a food barrel at the restaurant which his customers continue to fill every month to help replenish our food needs.
Despite working full time and attending college, he has given over 5000 hours of his time to eliminating hunger in his community. Bob is an invaluable volunteer and friend to the North Helpline and his commitment to people in need is truly unparalleled.