After the Job Corps, Nathan joined the armed forces, traveling to Texas, Florida, and South Carolina on active duty for two years. Later he became a long-haul truck driver crisscrossing the lower 48 states minus North Dakota and Idaho. “I went everywhere, but nowhere I wanted to go,” said Nathan, fondly remembering the time he saw the Statue of Liberty from a distance on three different routes. “Imagine trying to park a semi-truck in New York City.”
Being a trucker kept him busy, though it was challenging during the seventies. “I went through a lot of angst on the road, traveling through unfriendly places and dealing with mean-spirited racism. Eating well was hard on the road, explained Nathan. “I am diabetic in the worst way.”
An amputee and disabled veteran, Nathan has lived with diabetes for 23 years and experienced multiple bouts of homelessness. “I was homeless for five years when the VA picked me up this last time, got me housed, and referred me to Food Outreach,” said Nathan.
Recently, Food Outreach launched a pilot program focused on providing nutrition interventions to local veterans diagnosed with uncontrolled diabetes. “This is my first-time getting delivery,” said Nathan, who before winter would “take two busses” and “two trolleys” to Food Outreach’s midtown location. “It gave me purpose. I was going to get food. Luke [client services manager] saw me, an old man coming in on a broken-down scooter during the wintertime. You know, it’s bad when snails are passing you, and he said let us bring you your meals. Luke has heart. He’s good people. Everyone at Food Outreach is working out of their heart.”
Nathan appreciates all our meals and emphasizes they cover four critical bases. “They’re delicious and nutritious. They’re physically appealing to the eyes, and they have signature tastes,” he said. “The meals are not overly seasoned, and everything tastes like it’s supposed to taste. Chicken tastes like chicken. I’ve always had a standard. I got champagne taste on a beer budget, but I’m telling you the food from Food Outreach is equal to a 5-star restaurant—with bigger portions!”
At Food Outreach, we are grateful for the generosity of our supporters and community for making it possible for our agency to change lives one meal at a time. With your help, we will continue to provide medically tailored meals and nutrition to our neighbors living with chronic illnesses. “I am so grateful for the many people who invest in me. Food Outreach invests in me and that is a blessing,” said Nathan. “You are game changers. You are genuine.”