Going the Extra Mile to Make Others Smile
Maria is a mother who is grateful to receive fresh, nutritious groceries from her local pantry for her family. The items she receives ensure that her fridge does not go empty when money is tight. The pantry, St. Margaret's Center, is located near the new NFL Stadium in Inglewood and receives food from the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to distribute to their clients.
Maria is a part-time teacher's assistant in addition to being a busy mom. Her husband is also employed, yet they still struggle during the summer and winter breaks when school is not in session to put enough food on the table—both because she is not receiving a paycheck and because her family must provide more meals when the children are not in school. "This place helps a lot, and I'm really grateful," she says. "It's a blessing having this place here."
Maria does not come to the pantry all the time, but she is thankful it is there when she needs extra help. "When it's an emergency, I need to go!" she says. "Sometimes we don't have milk, but if I spend money on milk, then I can't afford gas. That's when I come here."
The money her family saves by receiving food enables them to pay other bills. For example, Maria said it helps her pay for health insurance. Most of the food distributed is rated highly nutritious and Maria's main goal when visiting the pantry is to acquire staple items like milk, cereal and produce. However, on this day, Maria was overjoyed to the point of tears when she received a cake for her daughter's 12th birthday. Maria was not sure she would be able to provide a cake since her first paycheck for the school year was a few weeks away. "Because of this place, kids can have a good meal when they don't expect it. Even cakes on their birthdays, they give those to us here when the parents can't get them."
The Food Bank's Partner Agency Network is made up of neighbors helping neighbors in need. They can do this work because of generous donors like you. "If this place did not exist, I do not want to imagine what it would be like," Maria says. "I am very grateful to everyone. Thank you so much."
You can ensure the Food Bank provides for families like Maria's well into the future through your gift. To learn more about your options, contact Roger Castle at [email protected] or 323-234-3030 x147.
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