When John Bobb Semple got a job welcoming volunteers at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, it was just that, a job. He got that this place helped people. However, it wasn't until a few months in that he really understood how.
You see he grew up in a family of seven. Even so, he never went without.
"Around that time, I had a favorite peanut butter and that peanut butter came out of a grey can," Semple remembers. "And that peanut butter was the only peanut butter I wanted."
Years would pass. He got his degree and he'd find himself working for the food bank.
"One day I was talking with someone about the USDA program and how commodities are a huge way we get food to people who need it," he said. "Well that grey can of peanut butter was actually a commodity brand and that commodity brand came from a food pantry. I remember calling my dad and talking about it and I said 'dad, weren't you on the board of the food pantry?' He said 'yes, then did we get food from the pantry? He said absolutely.' At that moment he tried to walk me back to the fact that the lessons he's teaching us about that there isn't a group of people who give and who receive, we're on both ends."
And that's when Semple fully understood that just because you're in need, doesn't mean you can't give back at the same time. And you never quite know how that food how that can of peanut butter can change someone's life.
"When I talk to our 42,000 volunteers, the message to them is you're not taking care of someone else, you're taking care of us," Semple said.
If you would like to donate or volunteer with the Food for Kids program, click here or text FFK to 501-501.