Jeremy Jeffress

Jeremy Jeffress (left) delivers a meal to one of the nurses at Banner Health Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona recently. Jeffress brought his food truck, JJ’s Bread and Butter to the hospital to serve the medical staff that has been working tirelessly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jeremy Jeffress grew up eating seafood from Breedlove’s food truck in South Boston.

He recalls growing up eating there quite often, and his love for that food truck and their food turned into him starting his own food truck that is now being used to help out those on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The food originally started in my hometown. One of my good friends’ father serviced my hometown for twenty some odd years, and I grew up on it,” Jeffress said in a recent interview with Banner Health. “So one day about four or five years ago I went to his son and said ‘listen this is something I really want to do for the community and as a hobby of mine because I love cooking,’ Jeffress added.

Jeffress recently brought his food truck, JJ’s Bread and Butter, to Banner-University Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona where Jeffress now resides.

Banner Health also is special to Jeffress for another reason. Jeffress was diagnosed with epilepsy and has been treated at the hospital for his seizures in the past. “I have been here (Phoenix) about nine years and to bring it here and to help out the community and the local food banks and Banner Health Hospital where I have come before because of my epilepsy,” Jeffress said.

Jeffress wanted to give back to those that have been at the forefront during the coronavirus pandemic and who have risked their own lives to save others. The doctors and nurses around the country have spent countless hours away from their own families to help those who need it most during the pandemic, and Jeffress wanted to show his appreciation for them.

“Just to help these guys out and show my appreciation for what they are doing because I know they are stuck in there all day helping these people with the coronavirus, and we appreciate them,” Jeffress said. “There are a lot of people that are struggling, and we want to find ways to give back,” he added.

Veronica Carmack, the director of nursing at Banner Health is grateful for the support that members of the community such as Jeffress provide for the staff at the hospital.

“Part of my service line is COVID units. And they are tired, they are stressed and to feel the love and support from the community and from everyone around, it just means the world to them. It brightens their day,” Carmack said. “The food trucks, the coffee, just all these little things make a really big difference in the course of their day,” she added.

Jeffress also spoke about preparing for the upcoming season, if there is one. Jeffress signed with the Chicago Cubs on a one-year deal after spending the last three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jeffress is excited to be with the Cubs and to get things going in a season that has been delayed due to the pandemic.

“You don’t know how stoked I am to come to Chicago and play at Wrigley Field every day,” Jeffress said.

He also said that he has been staying in shape and preparing for whenever the season begins.

“I’m excited to get back once this pandemic is over. I am definitely keeping in shape, doing the best I can with the home gym, riding the bike and stuff like that. I keep my arm loose every day, and I think I will be ready when things start back up whenever that may be.”

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him jkirkland@gazettevirginian.com. Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV