The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s relies on its cherished volunteers to help provide for our community. David James has been a member of that dedicated group since January 1996. David’s contributions are valued and varied, but he’s best known as the architect responsible for our iconic warehouse barn and as a driver with our weekly Home Delivery Program.
“There’s a story behind every door. We don’t just ring the doorbell and leave the bag. We wait until they answer, and many invite us in to have a little chat.”
David, accompanied by Ratatouille (Touey), his 16-year-old Rat Terrier, makes sure those who are unable to visit the Food Bank due to age, illness, injury, or disability continue to receive food each week. “The customers look forward to the dog more than the groceries or seeing me!” David laughed. “One customer reheats chicken nuggets for Touey. Another lets Touey curl up on the sofa with her.”
Also joining David over the years have been nieces, nephews, and cousins; one went along with him each week for several years. “He learned the value of volunteering as a young teenager and that has continued into his adult life.”
David’s contributions to The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s include the remodeling of our kitchen, distribution area, and administrative offices, as well as a project he’s most proud of during his long, successful architectural career: the red barn warehouse.
“For a warehouse building, it has style! It’s in a prominent location on church campus, so we painted it red to match the other brick buildings. It was a challenge to get approval to build on the church parking lot, and we had a very tight budget. It served a need the Food Bank had to resolve in a short time, and it works.”
Operations Manager Deep Singh worked closely with David on the project, calling it the gift that keeps on giving. “If it weren’t for David’s designs for the barn warehouse, we would not be able to serve the ever-growing need as effectively as we do today,” Deep said. “It gave us the space to store all of our potatoes, onions, and other foods that would otherwise be left outside the building at the end of the day. Not only was it functional, but it was also perfectly designed for efficiency so our workers could move groceries in and out with ease. We are very grateful for the gift of his craft.”
David will make his last delivery this month. The trusty 1987 Volkswagen van he’s used for deliveries all these years will transport him and Touey on camping adventures instead.
His retirement from our organization has been met by clients and staff with sadness, joy, and appreciation for more than two decades of friendship and accomplishments.
“David’s dedication and love for this organization and our clients is truly an amazing act of kindness and care,” said Executive Director Bruce Wood. From all of us at The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s, our heartfelt gratitude for 26 years of service, David!