Bill is a veteran from Muskegon, and he says he’s able to connect better with those around him when telling jokes and making people smile.
“Laughter is the best medicine, for sure.”
He used to volunteer at the Mobile Pantries at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Muskegon, which gave him an opportunity to interact with many of his neighbors. He always wanted to put a smile on their faces, and by connecting with those around him he was able to gain a lot of insight into the impact Mobile Pantries have made in his community.
“This food helps out everyone. When that truck leaves here, [the food] is gone. We give out every bit.”
He witnessed so many instances of neighbors connecting with neighbors at the Mobile Pantries to help each other no matter the circumstances they were facing. If baby food came in on a truck one day, people would bring it to mothers they knew could use it. If someone was dealing with a physical disability, people would help them through line to get their food. If someone’s car broke down, people would offer to carpool so they wouldn’t miss out.
Despite the many barriers that could prevent someone from getting the food they need, Bill recalls working together as a community to get food from the Mobile Pantries to those who needed it. He even remembers showing up to help distribute food in conditions like “wind, storms, rain and snow” because people still need food no matter the weather.
Now, Bill shows up to the same Mobile Pantries in order to provide food for his own family. And, he always takes time to spread the word about the Mobile Pantries since they have been so beneficial for him and for others he knows.
Karen attends this same Mobile Pantry to get some food for herself and her husband. She initially went to help others by bringing them food from the Mobile Pantries, but when she learned this program is available for everyone, she began picking up food for herself as well.
“It’s a great help. It helps out with the budget for sure. In times like these, it’s hard, so it’s very helpful.”
Some of her favorite things she has received previously include fresh fruit like pineapple and watermelon, bread, mushrooms and salmon. At this food distribution she got to take home items like eggs, apples, milk, blueberries, lunch meat and bread.
Another neighbor came to this Mobile Pantry for the first time with her niece and they also appreciated the selection of food available for them to take home.
“I can get things that I’ve never tried, and I’m trying to have better nutrition, so this can help me realize that I like other foods.”
Thanks to a generous donation from La Colombe Coffee Roasters, Feeding America West Michigan was able to purchase a new truck that is prioritized for Mobile Food Pantries, like this one, in Muskegon. This has allowed the food bank to more efficiently serve neighbors experiencing hunger in that area, and we are so grateful for La Colombe’s support in our work to end hunger.