After moving to the Buffalo area more than 25 years ago, Ramon met a co-worker named Marylou Borowiak (who happens to be a former Why I Care recipient). She was a volunteer for the Food Bank of Western NY and introduced Ramon to the staff there and got him involved in their programs and events. He remembers feeling an instant connection with the organization because his family once struggled with food insecurity and hunger when he was nine years old and his parents lost their jobs. It was then that he realized that he could make a difference and began the fight to ensure that everyone who is hungry is fed.
As the chairperson of the Food Bank of Western NY’s Walk off Hunger event, Ramon recalls a young girl approaching him, handing him a dollar bill and saying “please take this so I can buy six meals for someone else.” Ramon knew this girl well because she and her family had visited the Food Bank of Western NY, utilizing their services often during a time when they were struggling to make ends meet. It was this interaction that energized him and he vowed to work harder to eliminate hunger in the community and he has done just that. Since the walk’s inception 11 years ago enough money has been raised to provide more than 3.5 million meals.
In addition to volunteering for the Food Bank of Western NY, Ramon has also been Board Chairman for Westside Neighborhood Housing Services, Cradle Beach, and the American Red Cross (Services to Armed Forces).