When my children arrive home from school, they are hungry and tired. So typically they'll eat a snack and relax a bit before doing their homework. That little break and the nourishment helps them to then concentrate on their school work.
I share this with you because we recently helped a single mom who works at a fast food restaurant, but still has trouble feeding her daughter. She walked in last week, right as we were closing, hoping to get some food before her daughter arrived home. When we told her we could help, she began crying, telling us that when her daughter gets home from school, she is hungry, but there isn't always food for her.
It's difficult for most of us to imagine this scenario. Yet I've spoken with several donors and volunteers over the years who lived it growing up and have no trouble imagining an empty pantry. Some were constantly hungry in childhood while others struggled only during temporary family crises.
Food pantries like ours provide a safety net for many different kinds of people. It helps the working poor like this mother, and of course, it helps lots of children. But we also feed older people living on a fixed income as well as those who struggle with physical and mental disabilities. And then there are those who have undergone a one-time crisis and are faced with making choices between food, shelter or other basic needs.
As we move into the holiday season, there will be many opportunities to support our food pantries as well as other pantries. And it's so easy: you can either drop donated food off or send in a check. However you do it, you'll be helping to feed the most vulnerable in our community.