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Team GBFB Spotlight: Juan Encarnacion

Juan Our truck drivers are the faces of The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). As they deliver food, they bring smiles to the teams at our member agencies, who look forward to seeing them each week.

One of these faces is Juan Encarnacion, GBFB’s longest-serving employee who has been driving our trucks for nearly 24 years. He has watched GBFB grow from a small building in Jamaica Plain to the massive South Boston operation it is today.

Meet Juan:
A Puerto Rican native, Juan moved to the Bronx with his family at age 11 and then to Massachusetts a few years later. Juan went into auto mechanic training and then had several jobs delivering produce for a local farm and driving tow trucks. One day, he befriended a tractor trailer driver.

“I looked up at this guy in this huge Kenworth truck and said ‘My goodness, I’m driving a tow truck and you’re driving that!’ So I went to driving school, and that’s how I started driving tractor trailers.”

When Juan joined GBFB in 1991 and learned more about GBFB’s mission to End hunger Here, he said, “Is this serious? I think this job was waiting for me!”

Juan has been a part of GBFB’s growth during his 24-year tenure and is one of the few lucky team members to have met our founder, Kip Tiernan, a Boston activist who began many of the city’s well-known hunger-relief organizations.

“Kip was a force. Once, we were at an event and I asked her, ‘Kip, what keeps you going? What motivates you to keep doing what you do?’ She got rosy cheeks, and said ‘Anger. Anger about the waste of food – when so many other people could use it.’ Then she got up to speak and said ‘I was just telling Juan how angry I am!’ She really changed my thinking about hunger, and how I could help.”

Juan Cross-Dock
Juan was there when we opened our Cross-Dock in Bridgewater, which saves member agencies the long trip to Boston to pick up food for their clients.

Juan is part of an amazing team of 7 dedicated drivers who travel 11,000 miles per month throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

“We love to work here,” said Juan. “Each of these drivers that I have come to know loves what they are doing. It’s not just having a job. It’s the people we work with, the people we are feeding, the relationships we have with donors, agencies, and the places that we go.”

Juan makes deliveries to Cape Cod, where GBFB serves member agencies both on the Cape and the Islands. When asked why he enjoys coming to work every day, Juan said, “I can’t really put it into words. I look at it as a ministry, something that God gives you and you give to your fellow man. It’s part of you. You want to get up every day and help others. Either giving or supporting, whatever problem they have on that day. I think hunger is major. People need to eat every day. It’s not going away and we have to continue to provide.”

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