From a child receiving a hot lunch to a volunteer sorting apples to a truck driver delivering donated food to an individual making a donation. These are the stories that paint the full picture of the issue of hunger in America.
Alex Hertzberg is President of HertzbergMedia in Los Angeles and a supporter of Feeding America for several years.
“It is very important for our family to be aware of other people’s struggles and needs. Of all the worthy causes to contribute our support, hunger relief is one with a reachable solution, and it just doesn’t make sense that anyone should be hungry in this country. Food and nutrition are basic necessities that we can help provide to our fellow Americans.
Of all the incredible hunger-relief programs at Feeding America, child hunger programs particularly resonate with my family. Kids cannot thrive at school or in life when they are hungry. All children deserve the basic nourishment to live healthy lives.
My family and company supports Feeding America and our local food bank because our philanthropic goals are to improve our neighborhood through an organization that can ultimately improve every neighborhood. Feeding America excels at developing partnerships at every level to raise awareness and yield remarkable results for hunger relief. I am confident that my time, energy and donations are helping to solve hunger.”
For nearly a decade RJ and Teresa Devick and their three daughters have been generous supporters of both Feeding America and local hunger relief efforts in their hometown of Minneapolis.
“Food security is so important. It’s one of the basic things people really need help with and we wanted to do our part to help meet that need. When my company hosts work events, we ask our clients to bring money or food for our local food shelf, so it has always been a part of our fabric to give back to our community this way.
We were very touched when we learned about programs like the Backpack Program, which are run by the Feeding America network of food banks, that help children get access to food over the weekends when they might otherwise go without. We were also glad to hear that Feeding America is helping senior citizens in need by partnering with organizations that go directly to the homes and residences of seniors who cannot leave to get the food they need to live a healthy life.
When we decide where to give, we use Charity Navigator. We saw Feeding America’s score, and learned that most of the donations actually go to the people who need it. That, coupled with knowing how widespread their services are, truly helped in our decision to provide our support.”
When we first moved to Wilmington from Chicago all we had was a place to live. I had no job and our car was on its last leg. My husband, Stephen, had recently been diagnosed with kidney disease and to this day is living without kidneys. He receives regular dialysis to survive which prevents him from being able to work.
We moved to Wilmington because I spent my youth here. When Stephen got sick we needed to be in a community full of people we knew cared; and that is exactly what we found. Through connections I was quickly able to find a position as a personal care assistant to a man living with disabilities. I work full time but even still, I don’t make enough to provide for our family of five. We have three young children – Stephen Jr. who is eight, Amber who is seven and our baby Ashley who is five – and it’s a constant struggle to make sure we are meeting all their needs.
There have been many times I’ve wondered how I would feed my children. When I placed them in school however, someone told me about the BackPack program – sponsored by the Northern Illinois Food Bank – that sends my children home with backpacks full of nutritious food every Friday. Each weekend, they are excited to get home and see what is in their backpacks and I am relieved knowing our entire family will get enough to eat.
I know that soon things will get better for us. We recently received amazing news – they have found a kidney donor for my husband. This next year he is scheduled to receive a transplant and soon after that he’ll hopefully be able to work again. Until then I am so thankful for this community and the BackPack program here. It is helping us get through a tough time and reach a brighter future.
In 2005, my husband of 14 years was diagnosed with liver and bone cancer. He was a vietnam veteran and had liver problems for many years. He worked as an Optician at Lenscrafters and passed out from the pain at work. That is how we found he had cancer. He got a small amount from his job for assistance, since he could not work. But we had to fill out alot of paperwork just to get that. I lived on disability, so we paid our rent and utilities and medicine cost with my disability and we got food from our local food bank. He was given 4 months to a year to live and died before he got his first check from the disability insurance he had paid all his life, even after the cancer physician filled out all the paperwork. Hospice was a great comfort, as he did not have to suffer. He had great insurance from Lenscrafters also. It was a very hard time and I am so grateful for the help we received. I now live alone on disability and have to watch every penny. Sometimes I have to get food from the food bank to make it until the next month. Thank you and everyone that makes this possible. Americans looking out for each other is what made this country. Thank you for helping me stay strong. God Bless You ALL!
The Irene Chadbourne Food Pantry is located at 513 Main Street in Calais Maine. It is organized and run by volunteers from the four local Churches. These churches pledge financial support and each week one of the churches provides volunteers to man the pantry. We also have members of the public who volunteer on a regular basis. Many groups in town collect non-perishable food items and hold fund raisers to provide cash for us to purchase food from the Good Shepherd food Bank. The past few years we have seen food pantries in most of our neighboring communities close. We have extended our area to include them. We have been most fortunate with food donations from our local community. Walmart and the grocery store both donate fresh products (baked goods and vegetables)available weekly to our clients. Clients come in once a month for assistance. We have a backpack program in place and send food home with children in need of assistance for the weekend.We serve at least 5 elementary schools that I know of. I am writing in hopes that we can learn of any other sources of income or suitable food products that we could use to improve our resources for this backpack program. We find that most of the granola bar type products often have nut warnings and cannot be sent to the schools. It is costly to have to purchase cereal products that are suitable. Thank you for your existence and assistance.