Henry Rosenthal has been delivering food to the JFS Food Bank from Point Roberts, USA, throughout the pandemic. We chatted with him about why he does this and how he got started.
Q: Tell us how you got involved with the JFS food bank.
A: I used to visit a cousin’s uncle in Vancouver, through whom I met a gal named Dhorea Chalmie who told me she worked as a volunteer for the Jewish Food Bank in Vancouver. I asked if they needed any assistance. At that time I was responsible for the food bank in Point Roberts and we had an excess of food that we were getting from a few sources. That’s how I started bringing food over.
Q: You live in Point Roberts. How did you continue driving to Vancouver during the pandemic?
A: We are an essential service and so far they’ve let me through. I’ll bring frozen fish when I can, but there are other foods we bring across, too.
Q: What other needs do you see at the food bank?
A: We’ve had a major increase in the number of folks who need assistance. Not only in the area of food, clothing and shelter, but in other areas that are emotional in content. And so what we do is, at least a couple of us have become halfway decent listeners.
Q: Why do you volunteer?
A: We do it because we want to do it. And at the end of the day you see a lot of folks who have some of the strain lifted from their lives. And that’s good.
To learn about volunteering opportunities at JFS, please visit www.jfsvancouver.ca/get-involved/volunteer/