For 11 years, each day at work has pretty much been the same, which is exactly how Manny Magbag, a driver in Hunger Prevention, prefers it. He finds comfort in the predictability and repetition. It’s a never-ending battle to provide food to as many of our clients as possible. “You have to win the battle,” he says, “to achieve more every day.”
Manny arrives early at the Broadway Food Bank, around 7:00 am, and assembles his armor: a white VOA panel van and radio. After checking that everything is secure, he tunes into to KIRO 97.3 FM to catch up on the latest news and current events as he heads out to perform “grocery rescue,” picking up the nourishment that will feed our clients: canned vegetables, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, and deli meats from QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway, Target, Winco, Walmart and Costco. The stores are eager to help the community, and Manny is more than happy to oblige.
Driving a regular route from Everett to Lynnwood and back again, he's carved out his own efficient system and makes friends along the way. “The closer you get to the store and the manager, it’s like family.” This connection is valuable to a people-person like Manny, who enjoys getting to know the grocery managers and trade stories about life and family.
At the end of the day, returning to the garrison – a warehouse that is nearly bursting at the seams – he finds space for his haul among the boxes that are stacked floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall, waiting to be counted, claimed, and distributed. He knows that the transition to a new distribution center in Arlington will be a welcome relief. But nothing can diminish a good day on the front lines, helping fortify hope in the community. Though he is shy about being in the spotlight, “People appreciate you,” he notes. It’s this quiet reward that carries Manny forward into the battle against hunger, achieving more every day.