“I’ve never done this before.”
It’s something we’ve been hearing more and more at our food distributions. Many of our clients who were strangers to hunger are now in line to get help for the first time. As a food bank, we have never been through this before.
And now, more than ever, the support we’re receiving from federal employees and other committed donors is helping us help hungry neighbors in 16 Southeast Nebraska counties as we face the unknown together.
People like Wendy, a mother of two teenage children. When her job was cut, the family felt a sudden shift in stability. “This food is a blessing. I don’t even know how to thank you.”
And people like Sue. “I live on fixed income. I’m at increased risk due to my age. I’m scared to get sick. I’m scared to even be out here, but I need this food. Thank you for being here.”
Alynn Sampson, the Food Bank of Lincoln’s Director of Community Impact shared this story after a recent distribution in Lincoln.
“405 at a food distribution today. Four hundred and five. A record setting distribution.
There is a girl about my son’s age (11 years old) that I count on seeing every Friday I'm working and she's become my hero. She makes 4-5 trips to and from the motel she is staying at to carry food for her family. Her strategic thinking skills and menu planning about what her family can fit in their small motel refrigerator and knowing what they plan to eat is beyond her age.
It both inspires me and breaks my heart the responsibility she carries and yet is always so positive. I've quit asking if she has help because no one is coming to help her for whatever the reason may be. We make a pile together and I watch for her to return to get more. Tonight they are making tacos and she was excited to use the sour cream that was in the dairy box. She was determined to fit the 2 gallons of milk and 1/2 gallon of chocolate in that fridge.
Four hundred and five. And that girl for me is why we show up.”
So far, as the need has grown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, so has the generosity of those who can afford to give. And we are truly grateful. With continued support from generous donors through programs like the Combined Federal Campaign, we will continue to show up and alleviate hunger in Southeast Nebraska.