Grocery Plus Senior Spotlight: James Leak - Capital Area Food Bank
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Grocery Plus Senior Spotlight: James Leak

By Gus May May 18, 2015

jamesMr. James Leak stands out as a living example of the motto Senior Strong.
Not one to ever settle for a sedentary lifestyle, James who turns 76 at the end of May, single-handedly hauled trays of hot food and coolers of ice-cold drinks from the kitchen to the outdoor patio for a recent Mother’s Day celebration.
James “keeps it moving” as he likes to say.
And he certainly does keep it moving! People are forever playing catch up with him at Samuel Kelsey Apartments in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where he is a volunteer site leader for the Capital Area Food Bank’s Grocery Plus program. As a site leader, James tirelessly connects over 150 of his peers—seniors over the age of 60 —to food assistance.
The Grocery Plus program depends on site leaders like James. The role of the leader is to help neighbors register for the program, communicate with the CAFB, hand out food and generally provide a helping hand to their community in need. They are instrumental in helping solve senior hunger.
However, James is not “just” a site leader. He is a pillar of the community. Grocery Plus is merely a small portion of his volunteerism.
Impressively, James finds time to help his fellow seniors with many tasks and activities they are no longer able to perform. He shops for groceries for his homebound neighbors, he moves and packs for his physically handicapped friends, and he is on-call whenever anyone in the building needs a hand with cleaning, paying bills or a number of the other tasks that become more challenging as his neighbors age. He earnestly believes that life isn’t about yesterday, or about how hard today is, but what you can do in a day for those you care about.
Though James is also a Grocery Plus participant, he exemplifies the strength and power of a well-nourished senior and is living proof that people in need aren’t helpless, but often helpful and resourceful.
He knows how much the Grocery Plus food benefits his fellow residents at Samuel Kelsey. He relishes opportunities to help his fellow seniors and loves sharing ideas for home-cooked recipes using Grocery Plus ingredients.  And when the Grocery Plus deliveries arrive, Mr. Leak is sure to remind his fellow seniors to keep it moving!
Throughout the month of May, the CAFB is campaigning to ensure all seniors in need have access to nourishing meals. Consider a contribution today to give older adults the boost they need to stay well and remain Senior Strong.