For many, the holidays are filled with celebrations, traditions, and meals with family. But for people facing hunger, the holidays may look very different.
Instead of looking forward to gathering for special meals, many people are focus on putting any food on the table for their families. With the ongoing effects of the pandemic and with elevated food prices, millions of people may be facing hunger this holiday season.
But, with your help, we’re making sure our neighbors facing hunger have a little extra help during the holidays.
Below, meet some of our neighbors who found a way to make sure their families had a special meal for the holiday season with the help of local pantries.
Carmen, a career nurse who got her hours cut...
As a long-time nurse, Carmen (pictured above) never expected to need help affording food--especially around the holidays. But when her work hours got cut due to construction and staff restructuring, Carmen found making ends meet more difficult. "It's been a rough couple of months for me," she said. "Losing hours is hard, especially around the holidays when there are a lot more expenses to worry about."
With the holidays looming, Carmen and her two kids visited a holiday food distribution at their school, organized by Philabundace. There, the family received a turkey and traditional Thanksgiving sides.
"This is a tremendous blessing," Carmen said. “Before I lost my job, I told my family I was going to have Thanksgiving dinner at my house. With this food, I can make that happen.”
Bobby, a teacher who relocated to support his mom...
Bobby is a fifth-grade math and special education teacher with a master’s degree. He recently moved to Virginia to help his mom, who is sick. He was planning to get his teaching license in the state quickly and substitute in the interim, but the COVID pandemic made that very difficult. Needing work to “help keep the lights on,” as Bobby put it, he found work at a thrift store.
Although Bobby misses teaching, he is really thankful to be around his family. After visiting a holiday distribution, he was able to share the turkey and fixings he received with them. “That’ll be my contribution to the family dinner,” he said.
Courtney, a mental health worker who lost her job during the pandemic...
Courtney and her son James visited the pantry after she lost her job. When the pandemic first hit Virginia, Courtney lost her job as a supervisor at a group home. It was four months before she found work again when she did, her pay wasn’t as good as her last job. Her family needed some help filling in the gaps.
After hearing about a local food pantry at work, Courtney visited Feed More’s Ephesus Food Pantry. “I thought (pantries) were for people who were less fortunate, but anybody could be less fortunate in a day or in a second,” Courtney said. Courtney received a Thanksgiving meal for her family and was excited to get fresh produce, “I’m glad they’re giving greens.”
This holiday season, we’re working every day to fill pantries for millions of people in America who may face hunger. Let’s take food off our neighbor’s wish lists and put it on their kitchen tables. You can help make a difference by donating what you can today.