Feeding Hope: John's Story

By Ian Davis-Leonard

John Ammann always had a plan for retirement.

His father was a driver for the Spokane Food Bank, now Second Harvest, so when John wasn’t in school, he was helping his father with deliveries. John knew that once he stopped working, he wanted to give back to the community.

After retiring in 2016 after 37 years working in the automotive industry, John came down to the food bank he remembered from his childhood and asked how he could help.

John is now nearing his two year anniversary of volunteering with Second Harvest. Nothing has kept him around more than the joy he feels when picking up or delivering food.

“People get really excited about collecting food for the food bank. I feel just as excited when picking the food up,” John said with a smile.

Before volunteering with Second Harvest, John admitted that he was unaware of the many families in our community that are just barely making it and how just a little bit of support can help get them over the hump.

“The people that get the food really appreciate it,” he said. “You really don’t see how much need there is for food assistance and how much they appreciate the support.”

Now, John serves as a Swiss-Army knife for Second Harvest, taking on any and all tasks thrown his way, including sorting food, leading volunteer drives, picking up food as part of the Grocery Rescue program, assisting at Mobile Markets and more.

“I really don’t care what I do,” John said. “If I have time to do it, I’m in.”

John jokes that volunteering is what keeps him out of trouble. There are only so many things to do around the house, he said, and without Second Harvest, he would go stir crazy.

As John celebrates his two years of community service, he eagerly awaits many more.

“I hope I can do it until they bury me,” he said.

Inspired by John's story? Learn more about how you can help fight hunger in your community.