While most people look forward to weekend mornings and a day off work, Rich Leres looks forward to Wednesday mornings when he volunteers on our Helpline.

“Coming to volunteer to the Food Bank is the highlight of my week,” Rich said.

Our longest-serving Helpline volunteer, Rich has helped more than 72,200 neighbors in his 19 years here. And, every Wednesday morning for the past 19 years has begun the same: with a phone call to Minnie.

Minnie runs Community Reform, a program in Oakland that holds a food distribution every Wednesday afternoon.

At 8:45 a.m. sharp, Rich calls Minnie to confirm Community Reform will be open for their food distribution and to ask how many clients they’re able to serve that day.

It’s a phone call they both looked forward to every week. It’s allowed them to build a beautiful relationship over the years.

But – they had never met. That is, until recently.

On a Wednesday morning, after nearly 20 years, both Minnie and Rich happened to be at the Food Bank and finally talked face-to-face.

“I look forward to your call, Rich, every Wednesday morning,” Minnie told him. “You make my day.”

That chance meeting in our warehouse was decades in the making, built on a foundation of service to our community.

Thank you Rich and Minnie for all you do.