March to a Million Meals: Teen volunteers at Grace Place Food Pantry that helps his family

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra
Published: Updated:
Wood Bien-Aime is a volunteer at the Grace Place Food Pantry. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Not many teenagers would choose to spend their Friday afternoon working.

But 17-year-old Wood Bien-Aime is no ordinary teen.

He knows he makes a difference when he shows up at the Grace Place Food Pantry in Golden Gate.

“Not a lot of people like got jobs right now, and they don’t have money. So we are helping them out as much as we can right now,” he said.

It’s Bien-Aime’s way of giving back or paying it forward because he and his mom rely on Grace Place for food.

“So I just scan the card. If she needs something like a bag of rice, I take it for her,” he said.

He also works part-time to help his mom pay the bills.

“If I make $200, I give her like $100 like for groceries and stuff and I put $50 in my banks and I take $50 out and pay the WiFi bill. And the rest I give it to my little sister, my little brother,” Bien-Aime said.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank said it helps to feed roughly a quarter-million people a month directly and through partner agencies like Grace Place.

“Younger people will also need help sometimes because you never know,” he said. “Like I say, you … can have like opportunity today, you can be rich today. And tomorrow, you went to the street living on the street.”

He shows up at the food pantry to help with distribution every Friday because he knows what it is like to give and receive.

His message to those supporting and donating to WINK’s March to a Millions Meals is one of gratefulness.

“Thank you so much not just me or my family, just me and my family but the help in the community,” he said. “If we got like, much more people come to collaborate with us, and help, we can make this world a better place or life for people to live in.”

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