Mobile Pantries share food and hope across 40 counties

Determined mom ensures kids have full plates

April’s days are filled with tasks any stay-at-home parent with three kids would recognize — driving to school and sports practices, cooking meals and doing all the little things that ensure her whole family has what they need to thrive.

april and kids

 

Living in a one-income household (her husband is a mechanic), April is skilled at making the most of what her family has and finding additional ways to make ends meet — like going to discount stores, raising chickens for eggs and taking her family on fishing trips. She also visits a local food pantry and attends monthly Feeding America West Michigan Mobile Food Pantries held at her son’s school.

“I’m thankful for anything we can get,” April said. “You always have some nice stuff.”

Three generations of hunger warriors serve neighbors

DeeDee was taught by her mom, Estela, to always help her neighbors. She’s passed this message on to her own daughters, including 16-year-old Maria. Today, the three women volunteer together at the food pantry Estela directs and at Mobile Pantries.

maria, DeeDee and Estela

 

For DeeDee, serving is a way to give back. A few years ago, her husband was in a really bad accident that put her own family in need.

“Our community came together, paid our rent, brought us groceries, let us use a car,” she recalled. “I want people to feel the way we felt when our community came together with us. Everyone needs help at some point in their life, and that’s what we’re here for.”

Out of prison and into a new life

Growing up, Daniel and his siblings often went to bed hungry. He would walk to school searching for half-eaten apples on the ground to eat for breakfast. As he grew older, he turned to crime. He started out stealing food, but he eventually ended up in prison.

daniel

 

When he got out of prison, he didn’t have any job opportunities, he shared.

Today, Daniel does what he can to help others — like shoveling driveways, raking leaves or mowing lawns for elderly neighbors
who, like him, live on fixed incomes.

When he was young, he felt “too prideful” to ask for help — one of the reasons he turned to stealing instead. Now, he both gives and receives help. He attends Mobile Pantries when he needs to and loves cooking with the fresh produce, dairy and other food he gets.

“The food you get is very wholesome,” he said.