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John J. Hudak Jr., CEC, AAC

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John J. Hudak Jr., CEC, AAC
Wilkes-Barre, PA

John J. Hudak Jr.,

Wilkes-Barre, PA

When you work as the system executive chef at a healthcare organization, caring about others is already a big part of your job description. So, it should come as no surprise that when Chef John J. Hudak Jr., CEC, AAC isn’t helping others through food with his work at Geisinger throughout the system in Pennsylvania, he’s doing the very same for the less fortunate in his community.

As a lead organizer of the ACF Professional Chefs of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Thanksgiving Food Drive, Chef John helped to collect over 3,000 pounds of food for their 2021 drive. Last year, with a goal to exceed that mark, he blew the number out of the water, helping to collect a whopping 5,385 pounds, all given to a local food bank. This year’s goal is 5,800 pounds of food. There was 11,121 pounds of food donated that will be used for Thanksgiving, through the holidays and into January according to the pantry coordinators.

But Chef John also saw a need to provide nutritional assistance beyond Thanksgiving and the winter months. Working out of the basement of St. Clement & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, he began preparing meals for the homeless and needy each month. He began paying for the ingredients and supplies out of his own pocket, demonstrating his generosity and willingness to lend a hand. Chef John is blessed to have some faithful volunteers who assist with his vision of feeding people, providing financial and physical support. This allows him to provide more variety with his meals as well as providing them more often.

When asked about his involvement, Chef John mentions how fortunate he believes himself to be. He talks about the importance of giving back to one’s community. He describes the fulfillment and humbleness he experiences when he witnesses the appreciation for his deeds. And he highlights the incredibly special bonds that can only be created when people gather around food. Food brings people together; to hear comments from those we serve that we brought back childhood memories or fond thoughts of deceased parents with the food offered really makes your heart smile. He tries to live by the slogan, “Helping one person may not change the world, but it could change the world of that one person.”

If you would like to learn more about Geisinger, visit their website or follow on Facebook or X. To see more about the efforts of the ACF Professional Chefs of Northeastern Pennsylvania, follow on Facebook.


John J. Hudak Jr., CEC, AAC

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