For years, Anne Lee, her husband, and their family relied on income from their dairy cows to make ends meet. But in 2019, that changed.
The family owns a small farm in Upstate New York. In 2019, the dairy industry shifted and the money they were making from their dairy cows wasn’t nearly enough to keep food on the table. For the first time, the family needed a little extra help, so they turned to a local food pantry.
“(The pantry) changed everything,” Anne said. “My mom’s voice kept going through my head, ‘Take the helping hand when you need it, and give back when you don’t.’”
During a tough time, the pantry, which works with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, helped Anne and her husband feed themselves and their three children. And without having to worry about food, the family was able to focus on shifting their farm’s operations.
“We opened a butcher shop on the farm,” Anne said. “And it’s going really well. We’re supporting ourselves without any help for the first time in over a year.”
Not only is the family now able to support themselves, but they’re also working on ways to donate to the pantry that helped them, just like Anne’s mother always said.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the pantry,” Anne said. “The least we can do is give back to say thanks.”