This fiscal year, Food Bank for the Heartland will work with 544 Network Partners across Nebraska and western Iowa to distribute, on average, 2.2 million meals each month to thousands of neighbors experiencing food insecurity. We recently sat down with one of those neighbors at a Food Bank partner pantry.
We met Fany—a mom of three small children—on a hot August morning. She was one of nearly 60 people waiting for her name to be called in the lobby. Fany told us this was only her second time visiting the pantry. Current economic hardships left her little choice. “A friend from church told me to come here. I’m a stay-at-home mom so we’re on one income. Inflation has made it so hard. I tried to buy the cheapest stuff but still needed more help.”
Fany says the pantry has been a lifesaver for her family. As a mom, it gives her peace of mind knowing her children receive the nutrients they need. “It’s so nice to have this kind of place that can help you. The kids want everything, and they give us so much stuff for them. And if they’re happy, I’m happy.”
For those needing help, Fany said there’s no need to feel ashamed of seeking help. “I hadn’t visited a pantry before, but I needed to do it to help my family. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about. This place is a blessing.”
Even though Fany and her family need more food assistance these days to help mitigate the rising cost of food, she wants to ensure other families struggling with hunger have access to nutritious food. “I only plan to come here twice a month. I want to give other people the opportunity to get help, who need it more than I do.”
This show of kindness, coming from a mom struggling to make ends meet while making sure other moms in her place receive the same blessings, is a testament to the resilience and compassion of those in the communities we serve, and an incredible part of our 40-year legacy.