President Barack Obama on Wednesday volunteered at a District of Columbia food bank that provides freshly-prepared meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses.

According to a pool report filed by Mark Lander of The New York Times, Obama spent a portion of his day helping pack meals at the headquarters of Food & Friends.

“Every 9/11, obviously, we remember those we lost,” Obama, wearing a black Food & Friends apron and a black baseball cap, told reporters. “We also remember the incredible outpouring of neighbors helping neighbors.”

“I want to make sure we encourage everyone out there to volunteer in their own communities,” he added.

In addition to providing meals, Food & Friends, founded in 1988, provides nutrition counseling and friendship to those it serves.

Christopher J. Copley, a spokesman for Food & Friends, said that the roughly 500 meals – consisting of an assortment of fresh fruit, sandwiches, fruit cups and Sun Chips – Obama helped assemble would be delivered on Friday.