Food Pantry Guests Share Their Stories With Up From The Earth 

Up From The Earth applauds our community’s efforts to increase local food security on many levels. This is the third article in a trilogy of personal experiences and perspectives, concluding with that of the food pantry guest. The first was that of the growers and the second that of the food pantry volunteer.

A Tribute to the People Who Volunteer at the Food Pantries

Written by two grateful food pantry guests.

Have you ever been hungry and didn’t have money to buy food? It’s becoming more difficult to buy food,  cool your home, and put gas in your car.

Growing up, there were a lot of kids in our family, so our folks planted a garden. There was always plenty, and they shared with people who didn’t have a garden.

Getting older, we planted a garden and gave a lot of it to the nursing homes. We knew they could no longer plant their own, and they knew what fresh vegetables taste like. Their faces lit up when we came. 

Now, we’re at the point where we can no longer plant a garden. But we thank God every day for the men and women who volunteer at the food pantries. They do a lot of hard work setting up the tables and carrying things inside.

They always greet you with a smile. Even though they may hurt, they smile, knowing they gave good food to those who didn’t have any. 

If you ever had a garden, you know there was work to make it grow. 

God bless all the people that donate their time so that others can have vegetables and food.

Most people grow a garden to sell. These people don’t sell it to you. They give it with a smile. Life is better having good food. 

Without the food from the food pantries, a lot of people go without the food they need. They don’t complain because they figure it would do no good.

We just want to thank everyone who has put in their time and hard work so we could have a little extra food that otherwise we wouldn’t have. It makes life a little easier knowing you have a little more.

May God bless all of you. There will be many blessings in the hereafter. Thank you all.

Another Thankful Story

Written by a pantry guest facing many financial challenges with creativity and faith.

I started using the food pantries around four years ago. I realized that I needed the extra food and support after a breakup with my then-fiancé. I had to think on my feet quickly, finding a new home and more income (I currently have four jobs). It was hard to admit to myself at first, but I needed help in ways I never had before. 

When I looked to find help out there, I realized that I made too much money to qualify for any assistance with housing or food. This is where the food pantries have come into play. I use them weekly to help supplement my children and my meals. Often, I shop in stores around what I have received that week from the pantries-nothing goes to waste. 

One of my favorite things about the pantries are the fresh produce and garden plants that I take home and add to my own garden. On rare occasions, if I cannot find anything to create with the products I have received, I will pass them on to others in similar situations of need. 

Over the years of getting help from these pantries, I have seen and spoken with the volunteers and seen the good Christian works that they are doing. The story of the Good Samaritan has always touched my heart, and these people helping to feed the poor are today’s Good Samaritans. Overall, the most important thing that has come out of using the pantries for me has been my renewed faith in Christ. I appreciate the living example these people volunteering give for all of us to follow. Thank You.

UFTE extends a sincere thank you to all our produce growers, pantry volunteers, and pantry guests who have shared their thoughts, their experiences, and their kind words. This movement continues to be an amazing community effort on many levels from so many individuals in our community.

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