In the Community: Paying it Forward - Capital Area Food Bank
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In the Community: Paying it Forward

By Claudia Morris October 31, 2013

jones“Hunger is a feeling you never forget. You only have to experience it once. It’s a terrible feeling,” says DC resident Kenneth Jones.
The retired DC Police officer grew up in a middle-class family, always with plenty to eat. But when he turned 18, the third of four boys knew that his father wanted him to move out of the house, head out into the world and take on all the responsibilities that entailed.
The budding musician and his band were playing some decent gigs in the Washington metro area when he decided to move in with the vocalist and percussionist.
But income from their shows wasn’t steady, and rent is always due, regardless of whether a blues band is having a good month or not. It wasn’t long before Jones found himself hungry.
“Let’s just say I was ‘food-challenged’ when I was 18, 19 and 20,” he laughs. “Having a butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, lunch and supper was not unusual at all.”
Although Jones never had to use the services of a food bank, that helpless feeling of not having enough money for food shaped a very generous decision he would make once he retired.
His bass playing was demoted to a pastime in 1981 when he joined the District Police force. Jones spent his first five years on the night beat, patrolling the Capital Area Food Bank’s neighborhood in Northeast Washington DC.
Many nights on the beat had him thinking about his past. After working through the helicopter branch of the force and the forensic division, Jones retired and when he did, he still had hunger on his mind.
With no children and no living relatives, Jones wants to help future generations in his community. He named the Capital Area Food Bank as one of the beneficiaries of his Federal Government Life Insurance.
“When I think of all the work the Capital Area Food Bank does for the hungry, I am touched. It is a cause and an organization that is very near and dear to my heart,” Jones says.
He says he knows that with a little help from others, hunger can be just a temporary situation.
“One of my favorite sandwiches today is grape jelly and butter. That’s it, just white bread and jelly. To this day, I still love it. It brings me back.”
If you have questions about making a planned gift to the Capital Area Food Bank, please contact Claudia Morris at (202) 644-9859 or