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Anthony G. Wagner

Health care administrator Anthony Gerald Wagner was born on June 7, 1942, in Alton, Illinois, to Clementine Nolan and Albert Irvin Wagner. Wagner grew up in his neighborhood in Alton surrounded by his school teachers as neighbors. He began to learn to play the piano at the age of six and served as his church’s organist for fifteen years until he left his hometown to pursue his education. Wagner attended Dunbar and Douglas Elementary Schools, Elijah P. Lovejoy Middle School, West Junior High School and Alton Senior High School, all segregated except for his senior high school. Wagner went on to earn his B.A. degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. In 1966, he was drafted and served as a chaplain assistant and organist for the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Wagner conducted research on local lizards he found in Vietnam and sent his reports back to Southern Illlinois University. Wagner returned from his term in the service and got married in January of 1971.

Wagner started his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative for the Upjohn Company. He then decided to continue his education and earned his masters degree in hospital and health care administration from the University of Minnesota. While pursuing his masters degree, Wagner moved to California for his residency at the University of California at San Francisco. He was hired by the Health Care Financing Administration and remained there for fifteen years. Wagner left the organization as deputy associate. He then became executive administrator of Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco from 1988 to 1998. From 1998 to 2001, Wagner served as chief executive Officer of Community Health Network of San Francisco. In 2001, Wagner became the chief executive officer of the Hospital Systems of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. He served as CEO for two years. In 2005, Wagner became the vice president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Wagner is a member of the Board of Directors of the Longs Drugs Stores Corporation and serves as vice president for the Institute on Aging. In 2003, the City of San Francisco declared Anthony Wagner Day.

Wagner is married and has two sons. He lives in San Francisco and is an avid hiker.

Accession Number

A2005.241

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/12/2005

Last Name

Wagner

Maker Category
Middle Name

G.

Organizations
Schools

Douglas Elementary School

Dunbar Elementary School

Elijah P. Lovejoy Middle School

West Junior High School

Alton High School

First Name

Anthony

Birth City, State, Country

Alton

HM ID

WAG01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

The Room That Is Never Filled Is The Room For Improvement.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/7/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fish (Fried River)

Short Description

Chief executive officer Anthony G. Wagner (1942 - ) is the former CEO of the Hospital Systems of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and serves as vice president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:480,10:2960,69:5680,130:6000,135:7920,179:8720,193:9040,198:11040,241:24138,416:24430,421:25233,436:25890,446:26766,463:27058,468:27569,477:33770,538:35792,557:36320,567:36716,575:40374,626:40744,633:45406,726:45702,731:58830,887:59280,893:59910,902:60720,913:71298,1076:71626,1081:73922,1122:79833,1155:80271,1161:80709,1168:81001,1173:82388,1203:82899,1212:83264,1218:83556,1223:84140,1233:86110,1239:86462,1244:86990,1251:88134,1276:88486,1281:93502,1378:100829,1425:101368,1433:101676,1438:102061,1444:103293,1463:114304,1683:114689,1689:115151,1697:131310,1885$0,0:6285,111:7363,136:7748,142:11521,216:11906,222:21875,338:22540,346:25521,366:27849,402:37922,511:39040,530:49126,671:58062,800:59449,829:59814,835:60106,840:66710,935:69729,974:70282,982:72211,990:79595,1134:82009,1197:82506,1205:106148,1613:106578,1619:107180,1627:112910,1677:113170,1682:114535,1716:115380,1745:115640,1750:115900,1755:116355,1764:117850,1791:118500,1808:132902,1926:135718,2009:136550,2020:136806,2025:140056,2087:141330,2106:147477,2164:148065,2169:149388,2183:157636,2284:159940,2332:161380,2359:161740,2365:164010,2374:165982,2420:166254,2425:168566,2474:169314,2492:169586,2497:169858,2502:171490,2538:176034,2573:176496,2582:179130,2622:182678,2662:182906,2667:183248,2675:184331,2702:184673,2710:188400,2757:189780,2783:191130,2790
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Anthony G. Wagner's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Anthony G. Wagner lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his mother's childhood in Arkansas and in Alton, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers his maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his mother's occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about developing a relationship with his father

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Anthony G. Wagner speaks about the death of his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Anthony G. Wagner talks briefly about the land his paternal grandfather owned in Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers visiting his father's extended family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers his formative years with his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers his childhood neighborhood in Alton, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his relationship with his older sister

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers his childhood neighborhood in Alton, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Anthony G. Wagner describes the sights, sounds, and smells in Alton, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his elementary, middle school, and high school experiences, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his elementary, middle school, and high school experiences, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his experience at Alton Senior High School in Alton, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his childhood interests and extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers wanting to be a biologist and zoologist

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his experience at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois, and dropping out to design a church

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner describes working as a radio isotope technician at Alton Memorial hospital and being drafted into the U.S. Military in 1966

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Anthony Wagner describes his experience in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers being attacked in the Tet Offensive at the Nha Trang, Vietnam U.S. Army Base

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Anthony G. Wagner talks briefly about civil rights activity in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about completing his studies at Southern Illinois University, working for the P.D. George Company, and meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Anthony G. Wagner describes his wedding and relocating to Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Anthony G. Wagner describes the hospital administration training program at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Anthony Wagner explains Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner explains the role as a hospital administrator

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner describes working as an administrator at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about "Anthony Wagner Day" in San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about budgeting and having to make tough decisions as a hospital administrator

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Anthony G. Wagner remembers an employee's retirement

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Anthony Wagner the philosophy of the Labor Management Partnership management

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Anthony G. Wagner explains the origin of the HMO healthcare plan and the Kaiser Family Foundation's entry into the healthcare business

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Anthony Wagner describe joining the Kaiser Family Foundation as vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about working to eliminate disparities in healthcare in African American communities, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about working to eliminate disparities in healthcare in African American communities, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his involvement in civic organizations and professional groups

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Anthony G. Wagner describes what he does to relax

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about spending time with his sons, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about spending time with his sons, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Anthony G. Wagner talks about building a home and travel plans in the future

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Anthony G. Wagner talks more about his maternal family ancestry

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Anthony G. Wagner talks briefly about the influence of the Christian church in his childhood

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Anthony G. Wagner describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Anthony G. Wagner remembers being attacked in the Tet Offensive at the Nha Trang, Vietnam U.S. Army Base
Anthony G. Wagner talks about budgeting and having to make tough decisions as a hospital administrator
Transcript
--The one downside of it was during the Tet Offensive [Vietnam War], because we were at the core headquarters, we, we hardly ever were attacked, you could maybe hear it once in a while, but we were attacked and the--and a lot of people were like me, they had been drafted, they were in college, you know, we weren't gung ho soldiers and we heard, you know, we'd hear about, we, we knew they were falsifying the, the body counts of, for political reasons and we'd come back and talk about all this foolishness that was going on. But that night, and, and it would get down to about 90 degrees at night and you'd be cold, you'd need a blanket, y--you know, everything is relative, 'cause in the day it would be 120 degrees, but that night we were in our, in our Quonset huts and it's, I guess about twenty guys in a hut, you know, it, it was two rows and it's and an aisle going, an aisle going down the center and your bunks going end to end, you could see the tracers outside going by and, and we hadn't been accustomed to a war, so you know we got under our bunks, we didn't know what to do and we had our M16s, but--and then the rock group which is the South Korean Army which they were really tough, that the whole unit which was about five blocks from us, you s--they all were killed, it was about fifty-four of them were killed in that unit, so it was tough, and so sh--so this was like, I think January 28th and it was getting very close time for me to, to come home and I said, "God are you gonna let me stay here this long and, and let me get killed? (Laughter). Get me home." So I got an early out because you can get a ninety day early out, if you're going, if you were going back to college to finish your degree and so I did.$$That's a wonderful story, thanks for sharing that. About this, this was like '67 [1967]? Right?$$'67 [1967] to '68 [1968], is when I got out.$But, so that's an--$$And the budget.$$--accomplishment.$$Yes, and you had that--$$Going back to the budget, we really had gotten to the point where we would cut everything around the clinical services and we weren't going there 'cause that's where the care was involved, but then I sat down with my director of nursing, who I, I have the highest regard for her, her passion, for her, her craft and her profession, she, she had a tenacious, she was tenacious about getting resources and, and eking them out when there seemed to be nothing in that turnip, she would get some blood out of it and she had been, if you can imagine this, the director of nursing for forty-four years, before she retired. So she had been there and she is a very opinionated person, and very protective of her service and I went to her and said, you've gotta make some cuts and where I would make the cuts, it's here, here, and here, it was in administrative functions because that's where the big dollars were, I said I'm not gonna be cutting this, the CNAs 'cause who really gives, provides the most--$$A CNA is a?$$The certified nursing assistants, or in some places, they're called nurses aides [nursing aides], in a nursing facility and that's what Laguna Honda [Hospital, San Francisco, California] is, that's who provides most of the care, I said so, it doesn't make sense to cut them, you cou--you could double up on how you're doing your administrative stuff, "Oh, I can't cut anything." she was gonna cut a few LVNs [licensed vocational nurse] I said, no, that's who delivers the care. So the way Laguna Honda was organized is forty nursing units and each nursing unit has a head nurse, but they were across from each other like, this, there's a single aisle that goes down the hallway and over here is a nursing unit and here's one, all the way down with these thirty patients in each unit. So I said, why don't you cut a head nurse, and double up the head nurses and these people wouldn't lose their jobs, actually they would bump into something else. She didn't wanna do that. I said, look, the decision has to be made and if you don't make it, I will. So I did. It was very difficult. I hated to have done it, but I, I didn't, I didn't think I had any choice to do it so, in a way it's a difficulty and in another way I think it was an accomplishment. In it's a tough decision that an administrator had to make, 'cause all your decisions as an administrator aren't pats on the back, you have to make some decisions that you think are in the best interest for everyone and not just one group of people and you have to look at things as broadly as you can with input from lots of folks, but ultimately, you have to make a decision. So that was, that was another thing that happened in my career.

The Honorable Jesse White

State government appointee Jesse White was born on June 23, 1934 in Alton, Illinois. In 1943, he moved to Chicago with his parents, where he attended Schiller Elementary School. He went on to attend Waller High School, where he was active in school athletics, being named All-City in basketball and baseball. He also excelled at tumbling and hoped to play professional baseball after graduation, fielding offers from the St. Louis Browns and the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, White’s father insisted that he first go to college. White enrolled at Alabama State College, majoring in physical education. He also played baseball and basketball, earning All-Conference honors in both sports.

Upon graduation, White signed with the Chicago Cubs organization. However, four days before leaving for spring training, he was drafted by the United States Army, where he attended jump school and was trained as a paratrooper. White was soon assigned to the 101st Airborne Division. After his discharge in 1959, White returned to Chicago, where he finally began his professional baseball career, playing for several seasons with the Chicago Cubs organization.

Off-season, White also worked as a physical education instructor at Schiller Elementary School, the school that he attended as a child, as well as with the Chicago Park District. In December 1959, White was asked to organize a gym show at the Rockwell Garden Housing Project. This show laid the foundation for what would become known worldwide as the Jesse White Tumbling Team. For over forty years, the Jesse White Tumbling Team has served as a positive alternative for over 5,000 underprivileged Chicago children.

As White continued to juggle teaching and tumbling, he was approached to run for a seat in the state legislature, replacing Robert Thompson, who was retiring. In 1974, he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he served on the Committees on Aging, Elementary & Secondary Education, Public Utilities, and chaired the Committee on Children and Human Services. Among the bills proposed by White in the House was the Good Samaritan Bill, which allowed hotels to offer leftover food to soup kitchens without threat of liability.

With the exception of the 1977-79 term, White served in the Illinois General Assembly until 1992 when he was elected Cook County Recorder of Deeds. In 1996, he was reelected to the same office and served until 1998, when he made history by being the first African American elected Secretary of State for Illinois. The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for issuing license plates and titles, maintaining driver records and overseeing the State Library, State Archives and the organ and tissue donor program.

The father of two daughters, White has had a varied career and a strong impact both inside and outside the world of politics.

White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 3, 2001.

Accession Number

A2001.085

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/3/2001

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Lincoln Park High School

Schiller Elementary School

Alabama State University

First Name

Jesse

Birth City, State, Country

Alton

HM ID

PITS025

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/23/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

State government appointee The Honorable Jesse White (1934 - ) was the first African American to be elected as Secretary of State for Illinois, and was the founder of the world renowned Jesse White Tumblers youth tumbling team.

Employment

United States Army

Chicago Cubs

Schiller Elementary School

Illinois General Assembly

Cook County States Attorney's Office

State of Illinois

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
201,0:1608,143:15946,495:53640,998:75188,1306:89715,1581:90007,1586:105476,1878:109868,1963:129922,2248:143200,2387$0,0:2970,8:11712,175:12088,180:73316,901:77674,947:112560,1368:122350,1476
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Jesse White narrates his photographs

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Jesse White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jesse White describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jesse White describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jesse White describes his childhood in Alton, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jesse White talks about the diversity of Chicago's Near North Side

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jesse White shares memories of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jesse White describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jesse White remembers the men who mentored him

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jesse White talks about enrolling in Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jesse White remembers his first encounter with segregation in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jesse White talks about athletics at Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jesse White describes his experience at Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jesse White remembers travelling to receive his diploma from Alabama State University

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jesse White describes his service in the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jesse White describes the success of the Jesse White Tumbling Team

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jesse White talks about working three jobs

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Jesse White talks about beginning his political career

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Jesse White talks about getting sponsors for the Jesse White Tumbling Team

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Jesse White recounts his experience as a professional baseball player

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jesse White talks about the discrimination he faced while playing baseball in Plainview, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jesse White talks about the discrimination he faced while playing baseball in San Antonio, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jesse White remembers being attacked by a white man in Duluth, Minnesota, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jesse White remembers being attacked by a white man in Duluth, Minnesota, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jesse White recounts the baseball teams he played for between 1959 and 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jesse White describes balancing playing baseball, teaching, and working for the Chicago Park District

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jesse White discusses his transition into politics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jesse White talks about finding the strength to be a politician

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jesse White describes the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jesse White describes the importance of the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Jesse White reflects on his achievements as an Illinois State Representative

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jesse White discusses his reputation in the Illinois General Assembly

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jesse White discusses becoming Cook County Recorder of Deeds

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jesse White discusses becoming Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jesse White talks about the challenges of being Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jesse White describes his accomplishments as Illinois Secretary of State, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jesse White describes his accomplishments as Illinois Secretary of State, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jesse White talks about being Illinois Secretary of State

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jesse White talks about his accomplishments

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jesse White discusses his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Jesse White talks about the importance of sports

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Jesse White talks about how to become involved in politics

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jesse White reflects upon his career

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jesse White reflects upon the key ingredients for success

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jesse White discusses what "Pioneers in the Struggle" means to him

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jesse White reflects upon his legacy

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Jesse White describes the success of the Jesse White Tumbling Team
Jesse White reflects on his achievements as an Illinois State Representative
Transcript
After I got out of the military [United States Army], I began my baseball career [for the Chicago Cubs]. Then during the off season, I taught school during the day, worked for the Park District [of Chicago, Illinois] at night, was asked to put on a gym show at the Rockwell Gardens Housing Project on the West Side. One gym show in December, 1959 became the Jesse White Tumbling Team. At present, I have 116 young people on the team; 280 in training; 970 shows this year. We've taking young people six times--well actually three times to Tokyo, Japan, 16 times to Canada, Hong Kong, Bermuda. We're going to Jamaica in about a month and a half and I'm proud of the fact that we've have 15 young people that travel with the Ringling Brother's circus called the Chicago Kids. We have four who are traveling now with the Harlem Globetrotters. One of the mascots for the Chicago Bulls is one of my tumblers. He's called the "Da Bull." We've been involved with the making of three movies and 11 commercials and part of the fact too, that we've had over 5,100 young people to come through the program within the 42 year period of time and only 93 have gotten themselves in trouble with the law. It's been (unclear) combat juvenile delinquency. We spend about $4,000 a year on each kid, yet the Board of Education spends about between 5,000 and 6,000 to educate its students. In state government, we spend between 13,000 and $50,000 a year to incarcerate an individual. Then when you realize the fact that 83 percent of the people in prisons, that they have not graduated from high school, now you know who the people are who create problems for we in society. So that's why it's important for us to invest now with our young people. So all that I am today and all that I hope to be in life, I owe to someone. It's called give back.$$Now, I want to go back. How did the inspiration for doing this, how did that come about?$$It was just an outgrowth of my requirement as a park physical instructor. They asked me to do the show and there were about 350-400 people there who saw the show. They thought it was wonderful and beautiful. We did all kinds of things in the show, but tumbling was the highlight that was the finale. People were talking about how wonderful these kids had performed. They had never seen things like that before. From the one show came, 970 this year.$What of your, when you look back on your career there [in the Illinois General Assembly], what are you most proud of?$$I'm proud of a lot of bills that I passed. One was the Good Samaritan Bill, where if you had a party at the Hilton Hotel, so to speak and you ordered 500 chicken dinners, only 300 people showed up. The other 200 dinners are there, so what you could do is contact a soup kitchen, like the Pacific Garden Mission. They would come over, pick up the 200 dinners, take it back and feed the homeless and the hotel would get a tax write off for it and the food is not thrown away and the people at the shelter will have a wholesome meal. That's a bill that would exempt liability, they can sue them if someone were to get sick and die. But as it turned out, no one has gotten sick or died as a result of those gifts. So the restaurants, the hotels, the fast food stores can now take part in this program. There's an organization called the Greater Food Depository. They supply canned goods and food stuff to many of the pantries that we have here in Chicago [Illinois]. I passed a bill that would allow Stokleys, Campbell's, Van Camp; the list goes on and on, to donate these canned goods to these pantries or to the Greater Food Depository for a tax write off and not be held liable. So these two bills really spoke of the liability factor. As a result, thousands of canned goods, many items of foods have been distributed to the Greater Food Depository.