Meet the volunteer driver who, over the years, has delivered enough food for one million meals! Daniel joined us 13 years ago. For six years, he delivered weekly food supplies to the school kitchen in the community of La Campana, where hundreds of children receive meals every school day. For several years after that, he delivered food to different schools of various sizes. Currently, he delivers food to Pantoja, a community located 25 minutes away from our Distribution Center.
Daniel moved to San Miguel de Allende from Saint Louis, Missouri. He describes himself now as “retired in paradise.” He and his wife have been married for 37 years. After traveling in Mexico enough to decide to retire in this beautiful country, they chose San Miguel and moved to the area sight-unseen. They consider the move an ongoing, 13-year long vacation.
He has also helped pack food supplies at our Distribution Center, but says that driving is what he likes best—blasting tunes while enjoying the scenery around San Miguel. “The Distribution Center makes deliveries very easy. Pull your car through the warehouse, load up, and you’re on your way in minutes. Every week it is a joy for me, to load my car with the fruits of Feed the Hungry’s labor. Then seeing the young children at school, seemingly healthy and full of energy, makes me very happy,” Daniel said.
Daniel was surprised to see how the organization was able to overcome serious challenges in the last few years. During the gas shortages, drivers spent long hours in line to be sure they were able to deliver food every week without disruption. Then came the pandemic, with the schools all closed, and Feed the Hungry nimbly changed direction from running school kitchens to distributing food to the families at home, which was a huge undertaking.
He says that volunteering at Feed the Hungry is made simple because of the dedication of the staff and volunteers; everyone is pulling in the right direction. “Feed the Hungry is such a well-run and vital organization, the least I can do is pitch-in once a week,” he concluded.
Chip Swab, our driver coordinator, sings Daniel’s praises. “When you need to have 25 drivers available every Tuesday during the school year, his kind of dedication is invaluable. For years, Dan drove to our school in La Campana using his VW station wagon. The route is one of our more scenic drives, but sections can resemble the surface of the moon, especially during the rainy season. It was taking a toll on Dan’s vehicle and instead of just resigning, he asked if he could be assigned a different school. He has enjoyed delivering to Pantoja ever since.
“We can buy the food, volunteers can pack the food, but without drivers like Dan, who rise at the crack of dawn every Tuesday during the school year, that food would never make it to the plates of the school children, who eagerly await deliveries. For many of them, that hot meal will be the highlight of their day,” said Chip.
We are grateful for volunteers like Daniel! Without them, we couldn’t do what we do. To learn about volunteer opportunities, please contact us.