Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Skip Rambo delivers leftover bread from bakeries to local food pantries
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Skip Rambo doesn't do much loafing around. For the last 20 years, he's been collecting bread from local bakeries that would otherwise go to waste. Together, he and his wife, Ginger, bag it up and deliver it to local food pantries.
Three times a week, Rambo picks up bread from Breadsmith and Panera.
"My guess would be 60 to 70 loaves," he said, eyeballing the loaves in the back of his SUV.
When he got home, daughter Lisa Schobert helped him unload the car, and he and Ginger got to work.
"We never know what we're going to get," Ginger Rambo said with excitement.
There is a lot of variety. In this particular haul, there's multi-grain, Italian and Challah.
"When we're all done, I'm going to pull the files and find out how many bags we've bought," Ginger said.
Each bag is a record of a loaf saved.
"I'm just curious myself to know, because it's literally been tons and tons of really good bread that would go into a dumpster," she explained.
Instead, all of the bread goes to those in need.
"There's a satisfaction in doing something that you know is going to benefit other people," she said.
It's a process that's both time and labor intensive. Skip loads and unloads his cargo five times.
"You pick it up, you throw it in the car, you take it out of the car, you package it, you put it back in the car and you deliver it," he said, describing the process.
And the following morning, that's just what he does.
"Good morning," he said, greeting and shaking hands with Milwaukee's Northcott Neighborhood House executive director, Tony Kearney.
"It's a passion for actually making a difference, and Skip does," Kearney said.
Delicious, high-quality bread that's rescued for those who need it most.
"It goes to waste. They just throw it away," Schobert said.
She's been watching her parents as they've spent nights, weekends and early mornings doing this -- sometimes six days a week.
"It's extraordinary. It really is," Schobert said. "So few people had any clue that they did this, day in and day out, and I wanted to kind of shout it from the rooftops."
Rambo said when he first started, he didn't know how long he would last. Others before him didn't.
"Typically, they last about eight weeks, and then they disappear," he said. "And I just, oh, a challenge!"
A challenge, and a commitment.
"You can't just say, well, I'll do it this week, but I'll forget it the next week. It's every week, all those days, and people depend on it," Ginger said.
But at the age of 85, Rambo is retiring.
"Let's put it this way -- it's harder than it used to be," he admits.
"It's gotten difficult for him to do now, and it's not real easy for me, either, because, we're in our 80s," Ginger said.
But there's a lot that's kept him going for the last 20 years.
"I could see the results of it. I got to meet a lot of people who needed this stuff badly," he said.
He doesn't want that to end.
"Well, I hope very much it will continue with other people," he said.
Rambo, himself, can't be replaced, but the Rambos hope someone else will pick up their mission of picking up the bread.
"I'm hoping that's really what comes of this. That someone will take up the gauntlet and continue this mission," Schobert said.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Natalie's Everyday Heroes, send Natalie a message at NShepherd@cbs58.com.