These stories put a “face to hunger”, to show how anyone can be affected. The East Texas Food Bank is committed to addressing these hunger issues and needs of East Texans.
My name is Brittnie. I’m here with my son to get food for my family. Right after we had Jackson, my fiancé was laid off from his job as an engineer on the railroads. He also took extended time off to take care of me while I struggled with some medical issues.
We couldn’t make ends meet anymore, so we had to move out of our house and now we’re living with a friend. Recently, my fiancé got a roofing job, and we’re waiting to get our finances settled so we can move closer to where he’s working.
This isn’t the first time we’ve needed food assistance. Right out of high school, I joined the military. After I got out, I worked as a teacher in an afterschool program while I had my kids. Those were hard times for us, and sometimes it meant going without so they could have enough. The hardest thing in the world is worrying about what your children are going to eat.
To the donors of the East Texas Food Bank, I just want to say thank you for keeping food on the table for my kids. There have been times we wouldn’t have made it through without your support.
My name is Irene. A friend told me about this mobile pantry in our town. My daughter and I came to see what food we could get for our family. Although we’ve lived in the area for 10 years, this is the first time I’ve come to get food from the East Texas Food Bank.
In our family, my husband works washing semi-trucks. The work is okay, but it’s hard for us to make ends meet because he doesn’t get enough hours. One of our biggest challenges is being able to keep up with paying our rent. And when there isn’t much work, providing enough food for the children is hard.
Thankfully our older children get to eat breakfast and lunch at school. That’s a big help for us. When they are on vacation during the holidays and the summer, that’s the hardest time of year. It’s a challenge to provide enough food to meet their daily needs.
I want to say thank you to the people who support the East Texas Food Bank. I’m grateful for the food you give us.
Andrea’s two children, Lavoris and Diamond, have been coming to a weekly children’s Cooking Matters class. This program was specifically designed to help young people learn to prepare, eat and shop for healthy foods. With recipes designed to engage kids, Lavoris and Diamond have had opportunities to learn about choosing healthy foods and trying some things they didn’t know they liked. At the end of every class, students take home a bag of food with the ingredients to make the recipe they learned for their families.
“We made macaroni with broccoli in it. I’m not normally a broccoli eater, but I liked it,” says Lavoris.
“We learned all about dairy and proteins and fruit. What surprised me was how good the food tasted.”
While her children were at Cooking Matters, Andrea was finishing up a degree in nursing. When her program ended, she came to the last two classes with her children. “Showing them how to eat healthythat’s really important,” says Andrea. “With me being in the nursing program, I’ve kind of neglected the healthy meals. We’ve got to get back on track!”
Now that she’s graduated, Andrea will be working at a local hospital. “I’m excited. It’s a new beginning for all of us-just a better life financially and having a second income in the family,” says Andrea, whose husband also works. “The nursing program was hard and stressful, but we’ve made it through thanks to my family’s support. Now I’m ready to eat healthy!”
My name is Eva and I thank God for this food pantry! We wouldn’t have enough to eat without this support. My husband and I have four boys together, and they are always ready to eat. During the school year they get meals at school, and that’s a big help. In the summer it can be harder. The boys will open the refrigerator and say, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat in the house!” But we always try to find the something. If my husband and I have to go without, that’s okay, but we make sure our children don’t have to. Being able to come to the pantry helps us have enough.
My husband works in construction, so he has a low-paying job. When the weather gets rainy, he doesn’t always have enough work. When he has less work, I have to come to the food pantry. We like everything they give us here-like rice, tomatoes or other canned goods. Month after month it helps feed my family.
We work hard to make sure our children go to school and do their studies. We want them to grow up healthy and strong and be able to work toward a good life for themselves. I’m very thankful that you provide food for us through this pantry. It means I know my children are going to eat. I hope you and all those who support the East Texas Food Bank will be blessed, and that you will have abundance in your life so you can continue to help.