Laboring through the night, Allan Law hands out 2,000 sandwiches to hungry people. Sound impressive? That’s his average, and he does it every night of the year.
Like a food truck of charity, Law guides his Kia minivan to places where the homeless congregate, sharing sandwiches and conversation. It’s called the 363 Days Food Program.
Law explains the name. “Many years ago, in a church, a person said we’ve got to do something for the poor. Let’s do something on Thanksgiving. Someone else said, ‘What about Christmas?’ Then, a little dude in the back with a squeaky voice said, ‘What about the other 363 days of the year?’” Staff members at Luther Nissan Kia covered a partial night for Law, making 400 sandwiches.
Care packages, including 7,000 pairs of socks and winter clothes, are stored at rental space. Law, a retired teacher, does the work without pay.
Sales Manager Neil Haskins said what impressed him most about Law was that he seemed legitimate, even real. “A lot of people start to do something and say ‘This isn’t what I thought it would be.’ He’s doing it.”
The volunteer work is every day, and there are no vacations. He retired in 1999 and hasn’t slept in his bed since. He catches an hour of rest here and there in the van, on the side of the road. “Sometimes, I just have to go do it.”
The former Minneapolis school teacher uses his wit and ad libs to connect with people of all ages. Police have asked why people on the street listen to him. “I respect them, walk in front of people and always speak to them,” said Law.
Law’s nonprofit, Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., operates on $170,000 annually, takes no government funding and pays no salaries.
Law urges people to do something for others. “You don’t have to do a lot. Everybody should get involved and do something.”