We recently sat down to talk to with Bill Lee, the recipient of our Hunger Action Hero Business Award, which was given in September. Bill owns Thermo King of Southern Connecticut. He has also been a partner with Connecticut Food Bank for the past 12 years, volunteering his time and equipment and making donations. As he does every year, Bill provided on-site refrigerated trucks for our large Thanksgiving for All food drives last week. These large-scale turkey collections in our communities would not be possible without his support.
A true inspiration, Bill continues to make a difference in the community by hosting food drives. Below is our interview with the Thermo King himself.
CFB: Congratulations on your recent Hunger Action Hero Business Award. What does this award mean to you personally?
Bill: Well, I donate to a lot of different organizations and it felt really good to receive an award like that – to be recognized for something that I’ve done.
CFB: How has volunteering impacted your life?
Bill: I’ve been doing business with Connecticut Food Bank for the last 12 years and I see how dedicated the employees are there. We try to donate as much as we can to it. I was brought up with three brothers and a single mom and I know what it feels like to go to bed at night without having anything to eat, so I applaud the employees there for what they do.
CFB: Many people graciously donate during the holiday season, but could you explain the importance of donating year round?
Bill: I think there’s more hunger in this country than a lot of people realize. The economy is so bad, there are more people that are unemployed now, and the cost of gas and heating oil is high. People can help by volunteering – bring your recycling items back to the store, redeem them and buy a can of food to donate. There are a lot of things people can do.
CFB: What drives you to continue helping Connecticut Food Bank?
Bill: I’ve been through it, so it’s more of a reward now that I have bettered myself in life. I own my own business; I’ve come from nothing and gone to having more than I need, so if I can give back to the community, I do.
CFB: What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe he or she can help out?
Bill: They should visit a church homeless shelter. There is hunger out there. You can listen to people’s stories. Open your eyes; it happens enough around us.
CFB: What is your ultimate goal when volunteering?
Bill: To keep giving as much support as far as trailers and equipment and making more drives. Making people more aware that there is hunger in this state.
CFB: Thank you for your time and for the opportunity to speak with you. Are there any last things that you would like to say?
Bill: Connecticut Food Bank is a good organization, very well run. People there are very dedicated to their cause and are very organized.
We would like to congratulate Bill once again on his well-deserved Hunger Action Hero Business Award. We also want to thank him for all that he has done and continues to do for Connecticut Food Bank.