I stood there shocked. It was the day after my roommates and I had thrown a huge party. I had opened the cupboards and realized that we had literally been eaten out of house and home….
When I first moved out on my own there was a tremendous amount of adjustment time. I was young, foolish, and unfortunately in bad company. To make matters worse, I didn’t know how to budget, I had bills to pay, I had to finish my schooling, and couldn’t find a job better than a counter attendant/bakery assistant at a donut shop. I worked graveyard shifts for over a year at the wage of $6.10/hour and I did this while attending highschool. How I did it, I really don’t know. These were not the best times in my life….
I remember moving from cupboard to cupboard and feeling completely overwhelmed by the disparity. There was nothing to eat. To make matters worse, we had no money. Nothing. Not a penny until our pay cheques, which were over a week and a half away. I knew I could eat one free meal at the donut shop every day but I had no idea what I was going to eat for my other meals.
That was when I realized it. We needed to go to the food bank.
I remember trying to think of an alternative. I believed that food banks were for homeless people… that I would be taking from someone more needy than I.
However, I soon realized that if I didn’t go, there would be repercussions. I needed food to keep my mind and body healthy.
I swallowed my pride and went.
I remember being so fearful and wondering if they would turn me away. My stomach was in knots, partially from the hunger and partially from the anxiety of knowing that my life had come to this.
The staff at the food bank were kind, understanding, and gave us more than enough food to get us through two weeks.
Due to ongoing financial challenges, I ended up using the food bank for almost a year.
This is something I haven’t told anyone in my life… until now. I was afraid of the judgement and stigma surrounding my helpless situation. I was concerned that others would think I was weak because I had to rely on a social service for help. I was frightened that friends and family would judge me for the poor decisions I had made in the past and I was concerned that it would impact what they thought of me now.
However, the reality is, we all have times of need. We all have moments when we need to reach out for help. At that time in my life, I was thankful for the food bank and the services they provided. Their services helped feed my mind and body so that I could continue with my education.
A couple of decades later, I find myself regularly donating food and volunteering at the food bank. I’ve even written a post on how to help your local food bank. The help that they extended to me in my time of need will never be forgotten.
My church is spending the month of October helping the hungry of my city in a variety of ways:
- They are encouraging the congregation to fill paper bags with food for the food bank.
- They’re arranging volunteer times for people to cook and serve meals for the homeless.
- They have an ambitious goal to raise $30,000 to donate to the homeless and hungry in my city.
They want to BLESS others in need. I can make a difference and you can make a difference. Let’s make a difference together… today.
October 16th, is World Food Day. Please contemplate how you can help feed the hungry in your community. Also, if you would consider sharing this post? Let’s spread the word about a food bank success story.