Merrill Financial Advisor John Yambao gives to the Houston Food Bank as a way of paying it forward because he believes that “no one should ever go hungry, particularly in the world’s wealthiest nation.”
America’s largest food bank in terms of distribution, the Houston Food Bank distributes 104 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals across 18 counties each year.
Although John spent most of his teenage years in Houston, he was born in South Korea. At just 10 years old, he learned about the importance of food security when his mother told him a story from her childhood. As a teenager, John’s mom and her family were caught in the throes of the Korean War.
“Many in my mother’s village were constantly running, trying to stay one step ahead of the war,” recounts John. “At one point, she, her siblings and her parents shared a ration of only potato peels for three days.”