4. John and Lynn

John and Lynn

John and Lynn pose at the food pantryFor most of their lives, John and Lynn had stable jobs. Then, a battle with cancer put Lynn out of work. Around the same time, the couple’s insurance was cut off.

“Suddenly, there wasn’t enough money,” Lynn recalled.

To help make ends meet, they started visiting The Green Apple Pantry, one of Feeding America West Michigan’s partners that serves their community. There, they filled their carts and cupboards with plenty of canned goods, fresh bread, produce and more.

Even though they received help themselves, John and Lynn often volunteered as well.

“I always believe in giving back,” Lynn said.

This wasn’t her first time experiencing hunger or visiting The Green Apple Pantry (then known as John Knox). As a young mother and substitute teacher, she went to the food pantry to fill her four kids’ plates, before finding the job she kept for many years.

Five years after Lynn’s battle with cancer, the couple are both retired and receiving social security income. A few months ago, their mortgage was finally paid off, too, thanks in part to help from another local organization.

Soon after, John took another trip to The Green Apple Pantry.

“John came in and said, ‘I have something for you,’ and handed me a $100 bill,” said Nancy, the pantry’s director.

Today, the couple often looks after their four grandchildren — a lot of mouths to feed — and may find themselves using the pantry again. But no matter their circumstances, they are always looking for ways to give back.

Caring neighbors like John and Lynn make hunger relief possible in our service area. Their efforts ensure that the food we distribute to our partners each year ends up in the hands of our neighbors who need it most.

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