Marsha turned to food pantry when she “didn’t have anything”

Marsha - Blog Story

We met Marsha while she was visiting an East Texas Food Bank pantry partner. She lives alone now since her family moved to Dallas.

“I love to be around my family and like to travel,” she said. Marsha has two girls and two grandchildren.

Marsha retired in 2014 after years of being a cake decorator at a grocery store. She said with her current health conditions it has become much tougher to afford food and medications.

“I’m diabetic, have high blood pressure and arthritis,” she said.

Marsha said that she visited the pantry the first time because she was out of food at home. She also didn’t want to burden her children because “they are trying to take care of their kids too.”

“I didn’t have anything and a friend of mine said to go down there and they will help you,” she said. “I came here, got groceries and was so happy.”

Of the food items she received, Marsha was glad to have some healthy items to help with her diabetes.

“The healthy food helps a lot,” she said. “I can’t tell the difference in the taste, so it’s really the same to me.”

Marsha is appreciative of everyone that helps the East Texas Food Bank and at the pantries.

“There are some loving, kind people and they take time out of their lives to help us,” she said. “Without them, we couldn’t make it. We’d be hungry so I thank you so much.”

If you would like to help families like Marsha’s that the East Texas Food Bank works to feed each day, you can make a donation onlinevolunteer with us or host a virtual food drive.

“It felt like Christmas. Even better when I opened the box and saw all the food.”

Mail delivery is always an exciting time for us here at the East Texas Food Bank. Not only do we receive generous gifts from our donors and supporters, we also get letters from families that have been helped by our partner food pantries and feeding programs. Today, we wanted to share one of these letters in their own words:

“Just wanted to tell you of my experience with the East Texas Food Bank. I was trying to pay off bills – I do not do owing money well. Every month I have made myself a very tight budget. My friend encouraged me to go to the food bank so I would have food and not have a big food bill. Maybe not the best reason. I would not have starved. While I was in line, (my friend) stayed on the phone with me so I would not ‘chicken out’. I have never done this before. This is what I experienced.

Fear of being judged – I was not judged. Humility, gratitude followed. Workers were so kind and joyous. At one point, I teared up because I was touched. I was uncomfortable to ask them not to put sweets in the box since I have diabetes. They did not make me feel bad. They gave me nuts which I can eat.

I live alone. It felt like Christmas. Even better when I opened the box and saw all the food. Not one thing did I not use.

I realized also from my friend that there is a culture around receiving this food. My friend shares with others that need it – as I have been a blessed recipient of the blessings. All of a sudden, I was cooking and looking up recipes and got out of the ‘dump’ I was in emotionally.

I thank you for the food ‘mission’ you are on. I was able to share with others and I was blessed!”

Letters like this are why we work every day in our mission of fighting hunger and feeding hope. You can help us by making a gift, volunteering or having a virtual food drive.

“Our fridge is bare…but there’s a place that I can go to.”

Franc - Blog Story

“I know that when I’m in a tough spot, when I have a choice between paying water bills and groceries, there’s a place that I can go to.”

That’s what Franc shared with us when he visited an East Texas Food Bank pantry partner. Franc lives with his sister, her three children, and his grandfather who came to live with him after a health scare..

“I’ve been taking care of him after he had heart failure last year,” Fran said. “I went to see him in New York and thought we were going to have to bury him with how sick he was. But he survived, and I told him that it would be good for him to come back to East Texas with me.”

Franc works a warehouse job, but finds that money can be short at times with his busy household.

“I’m thankful for the job I have, but right now our fridge is bare,” he said. “That’s why I decided to come here (to the pantry) today. This is gonna give me that push until the weekend to allow me to get more funds and fill the fridge on my own.”

Franc said that the pantry always provides him plenty of options to help his family.

“They offer us a lot of vegetables, fruits and snack packs,” he said. “I know once the kids come home, they will have a snack today. That’s a good feeling.”

Franc also said that if anyone is struggling to provide for their family, they should check into food pantries where they live. “It makes a big difference,” he said. “They are not gonna turn anyone away that’s hungry or in need.”

Finally, Franc wanted to share his appreciation for those that help his family.

“They are helping people in the community that really need it like myself,” he said. “It’s a big thank you!”

If you would like to help families like Franc’s that the East Texas Food Bank works to feed each day, you can make a donation online, volunteer with us or host a virtual food drive.


“Your help is a real blessing!”

My name is Bobby, and I want to thank you for thinking about me. It’s a scary time right now. You get to be my age and you’re dealing with a lot of health problems. Diabetes, heart trouble. The shape I’m in, I don’t dare leave the house.

I found out about the East Texas Food Bank on TV. Living on a fixed income like I do, it was tough having to pay people to help me get food. So I gave you all a call, and you’ve just been a real blessing in my life ever since!

You brought all sorts of groceries right to my doorstep. Peanut butter, milk, fresh produce—I’m so grateful to get so much good stuff for free. My grandson and his mom live with me, too, and they love the food we cook together.

I just want to say thank you again for remembering me. You’ve lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders, so I can stay home and stay healthy. I sit out on the porch and get some fresh air every day. I breathe easy because of you.

Because of your support, we were able to deliver food directly to local seniors when we were at the peak of the pandemic.

You can help our East Texas neighbors like Bobby by making an online gift, volunteering or holding a virtual food drive for your business or organization.

Fresh produce helps Barronda’s family


“Everything I get is important. I have cancer.”

That’s what Barronda shared with us during a recent produce distribution.

“My treatments take up a lot of my income,” she said. “So this helps balance things out for me and my family.”

Barronda said that because of her cancer and COVID, she wasn’t able to get out much. She appreciated the ability to drive-thru for the produce.

“It goes smooth and quick,” she said. “It’s so easy because I don’t have to get out of my car.”

Barronda told us she uses everything she gets as well. Her favorites are the cabbage and carrots.

“Nothing goes to waste,” she said adding that her daughter and grandson live with her as well.

Without volunteers, Barronda knows she would not be able to receive this fresh produce. She wanted to be sure they understood how grateful she was for their time.

“Thank you to the volunteers and to the food bank,” she said. “This is a big blessing. I teach my grandchildren about the value of giving back to others.”

To support East Texas families like Barronda, you can make a donation here or view all our volunteer opportunities and sign up here.


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