We all have our very personal reactions to grief. For one of the Food Bank of South Jersey’s drivers leading our mobile distributions, Andrew (Drew) Johnson knew he had to do something after suffering an immensely difficult loss.
Drew’s wife Marcel passed away in 2018. Marcel was very active in her community, served on a number of boards, and often organized community events. Drew and Marcel were married for almost 40 years and they had three children.
At the time Drew was working for a school bus company, which gave him the flexibility he needed to go back and forth to home to take care of her. Drew knew after she passed away that he needed to focus on “being like my wife.”
“I was so torn up inside about her and working at the Food Bank helped me take my mind off of it,” Drew said. “It was therapy for me because I had to give.”
Drew, who was born Philadelphia and spent several years working at Hahnemann University Hospital, started his work for the Food Bank driving a school bus, but this bus instead was delivering summer meals to children in need throughout South Jersey. He’s also started a foundation in his wife’s name to serve young people in the Philadelphia community.
“She was such a people person, which was really the opposite of me,” Drew said. “She loved helping and working with people. I found out that I really enjoyed helping others and doing whatever you can to make things a little better for them.”