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York County Food Bank – York PA
Johny Volunteer

The Food Bank Family: Recipient Johnny Bayless

Johnny, a 59-year-old disabled Veteran, says, “Truly and honestly I’ve been blessed. I know God loves me and I love him too. I never have to worry about the Lord’s love. He’s always there for me.”

The York County Food Bank, Johnny says, is just more evidence of that on-going blessing.

“As far as the Food Bank goes, I don’t abuse it, but I use it, because there’s times when I don’t have food. I mean, living on a check for $795 every month – I’m used to getting a check every week. When you’re used to getting a check every week, it’s hard living month-to-month.”

At the York County Food Bank, he says, “If I don’t need it, I don’t take it.”

And mirroring the Food Bank ethos, he adds, “But if I take something and I don’t use it, I’ll make a box and give it to someone else. I ain’t gonna waste food.”

That Johnny is even here is a testament to his remarkable strength of character.

As a child, home life was violent. His mother was physically abusive, and he witnessed a lot of violence in his home. Johnny says she was an alcoholic with high blood pressure and diabetes, and adds, “God rest her soul.”

As a young adult, Johnny joined the Marines, and, despite standing just 5-3, proved tough enough for The Few and the Proud.

Upon discharge, he found work as a machinist and that put food on his table for three decades. But mental health issues, including PTSD, ultimately took him out of the workforce.

So he is especially thankful for the York County Food Bank and the services it provides.

“If you’re hungry in York, Pennsylvania, it’s only because you want to be,” he says. “They’re willing to feed you. They want to feed you. In fact, they do it with smiling faces, you know? ‘How you doing today?’ ‘Do you want any of this?’ ‘Do you need any of this?’

“I mean, it’s wonderful.”

Jarvis Green

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