As many families were busy preparing for the holidays, 34 year old Anntionette was trying to find some extra help for her family of seven after a fire destroyed their belongings and left them staying with relatives.
“My parents and grandmother help with the kids while I’m at work,” said Anntionette. “The kids eat a lot!”
Anntionette was already struggling to make ends meet on her income as a home health care worker. She has been going to the Food Bank partner agency Ray of Hope to help feed her growing children, but the fire has added extra expenses to her already thin-stretched budget. Not having to worry about food for her kids is a big relief.
“I really appreciate this program. It’s a blessing for me and my kids!” Anntionette said.
Thanks to your generous donations, the Food Bank is able to provide much needed food to families like Anntionette’s. With just $10, we can provide 55 meals to children, families and seniors in our community. Click here to make a donation today.
Caldwell House of Hope, located in Columbia, LA has been operating a community food pantry for 16 years. On a hot summer morning in July, we met a wonderful woman named Mary at their pantry distribution. Mary, a 76 year old great-grandmother who was born and raised in Caldwell Parish, has been coming to the food pantry for about two years.
Mary is a widow who lives on a fixed income from her husband’s social security check. She said that now that she is older, it’s really hard to make ends meet with her high medical expenses. “I may spend $200 on my medicines next week”, she told us.
The food she receives from the House of Hope pantry has been a huge help to Mary. She mentioned that she especially likes to receive the canned goods, and uses them to cook meals for herself throughout the month. She also finds fellowship within the walls of House of Hope, and enjoys socializing with others from the community while she is there. When we asked Mary what she would like to say to the people who support the Food Bank, she enthusiastically replied “I’d like to give a big thank you from me and everyone who participates, because it really helps!!”
To help us keep the pantry shelves stocked, you can make a donation online by clicking here.
Catherine knows what it’s like to need a little extra help. She has been receiving groceries from Food Bank partner agency Traylor Ministries for three years. Catherine worked for many years at a plywood plant, and then as a nurses aid before retiring at age 75 to care for her husband after his stroke. After he passed away, Catherine started going to the food pantry.
At age 86, Catherine shows no signs of slowing down. She regularly gives rides to neighbors. “I love helping people,” she said. Catherine often cooks for neighborhood kids, who she calls her adopted grandchildren. She especially likes to make dishes with the vegetables she receives from the food pantry. “It’s a good cause and I love it!” said Catherine about the Food Bank.
The Food Bank of NELA’s primary feeding program is the distribution of food to our network of more than 60 non-profit partner agencies like Traylor Ministries. These agencies operate local pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger relief programs. The Food Bank’s partners are located throughout 12 parishes in Northeast Louisiana and serve low income people in need of food assistance.
To help support the distribution of food to people like Catherine, please consider a donation. Just $10 will help the Food Bank provide 55 meals.
Recently, we took a trip to Jonesboro’s quaint Main Street to visit His Hands Ministry. Founded in the 1950’s to assist the needy in Jonesboro with clothing and household items, the agency expanded to include a food distribution in the late 1990’s and moved to a storefront location about four years ago.
Myrtle Culpepper, a founding member of the Ministry from First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, took care of the day to day operations for many years. Today, Mrs. Culpepper’s daughter, Lynnette Sandidge, and her granddaughter, Teresa Carroll, honor her legacy of service through their own tireless volunteer work at His Hands Ministry.
Every month, the Outreach Ministry provides food to about 125 families. Last year, they served a total of 562 different families. They not only serve residents of Jackson Parish with food, they also have continued to provide free clothing and household items once a month to anyone with an ID.
When asked about the need in the community, Ms. Carroll spoke about the circumstances that bring people to their program for help. Natural disasters, house fires, families taking in additional children, as well as people who are just going through a rough time are a few of the reasons that people visit the Ministry.
Ms. Carroll then told us that the volunteers also share in the joys of life with their clients as well as the tough times. In June, one man who has received food help for over a year happily reported that he was finally able to draw his disability and would not be returning. Some of the senior citizens that the program serves have expressed how thankful they are for the food they receive and that it’s the only time they get fresh eggs to eat.
When we left His Hands Ministry, it was with full hearts and gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the volunteer staff, the churches and donors who make it all possible and for Myrtle Perry Culpepper and her family who have so lovingly dedicated their life to serving those in need.