Summer Isn’t Fun When You’re Hungry

Why did the Food Bank sponsor 12 federal Summer Food Service Program sites for the first time this year? Why did our Culinary Center produce and distribute thousands of meals each week with the help of VISTA members and community volunteers? Because for Starla and her family, and many others like them, summer isn’t fun when you’re hungry.
“My husband works, but we have four children. In addition to that, my mother lives with us who is now disabled, as well as my brother who was born with birth defects and can’t care for himself. We receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, and we are grateful to have them, it helps us, but with eight people it doesn’t come close to covering our food costs.”
Like many struggling families with children, parents put their kids first. “The challenge our family has is providing enough food since our family is so large. The kids always get fed, but sometimes the adults don’t get as much.” This very scenario was evident the day we met Starla. She made sure all of her children were well fed. Only later did she take one of the donated sandwiches that were available for adults that day.
“We are so grateful for this program. If this wasn’t available my children wouldn’t have the healthy foods we can get here. At home, when we can afford it, we have more healthy food for dinner. Since school is out we would have to rely on ramen noodles or soup for lunch. Summers are a lot more difficult for us, and fortunately this program is close to our house.”
Periodically, when they have run out of food for the month, Starla’s family has been able to receive additional help at Catholic Charities and Emergency Infant Services, both of which are Partner Programs of the Food Bank.
Starla was eager to express her gratitude. “Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this helps. Without it we wouldn’t have regular fruit, vegetables or any of this, plus my kids really look forward to coming.”

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