Fletcher is often the first client to arrive at the free grocery site at Mid-Peninsula Hispanic Outreach Ministry in San Mateo.

“I’m usually the first one in line and I like that!”

Fletcher is up so early he has time to greet the garbage man, have coffee with his buddies and get to the distribution site by 5:30 a.m., long before they even start passing out food. Fletcher is used to being early to places. He says he picked up the habit after driving for San Francisco’s municipal bus service (Muni) for 15 years. “When I see people angrily waiting for a bus, it has taught me that if you want to make people happy, you gotta be early.”

Fletcher, 61, has been married to his wife Kesoan for almost 20 years. They live in a 44-unit apartment complex in San Mateo. He first started getting free groceries from Second Harvest of Silicon Valley when he started running out of food at the beginning of the pandemic.

“I’m always feeding people,” Fletcher laughs. “When corona started, people were out of work and I started asking around [the apartment complex] where I could get some more food for everyone because a lot of people were coming to my door.”

Fletcher and his wife Keosan have been married for almost 20 years.

In February 2020, right before the pandemic hit, Fletcher had a knee replacement, and he was out of work recuperating for about a year. That was the first time he worried about how he would get food for himself and his wife, who is disabled.

“The neighbors came and helped us out because they knew I couldn’t go anywhere.”

Fletcher loves his job as a San Francisco Muni driver and has gotten regular commendations for a job well done over his 15 years of service.

Fletcher hands his neighbor Norma a pack of frozen chicken legs he picked up from his local drive-thru distribution. Fletcher shares food with his neighbors at his 44-unit apartment complex regularly.

Now Fletcher is back to work driving for Muni. A typical shift is a 10-hour day filled with routes that take roughly 70 minutes, depending on delays. This means that he has 5-10 minutes between routes for breaks and snacks. Eating a typical lunch is out of the question, so he eats fruits and vegetables he gets from Second Harvest and lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Fletcher has always been called to volunteer and be of service. On top of sharing food with his community, Fletcher is a volunteer with the San Francisco-based nonprofit Food Runners, he’s a senior ambassador volunteer for SamTrans and he works the information desk at San Francisco International Airport.

“Second Harvest asks me all the time, ‘Fletch, you’re always first in line, why don’t you volunteer? You’re already wearing a vest!’ But they don’t realize that there’s a lot more to do when you bring back food for everyone here. It takes a lot of time to clean up!”

During the pandemic, Kesoan has been sharing her love of cooking traditional Thai desserts with neighbors in the complex.

When we asked Fletcher why he thinks people come to him when they need food assistance, Fletcher said, “Because I help people a lot and they know that if I had the last milk, I would give it to them.”

One of Fletcher’s milk cartons he received from the free grocery drive-thru distribution at Mid-Peninsula Hispanic Outreach Ministry in San Mateo.