This morning I got a call from one of my parents about how her 3 children did this school year and possible retention. She didn’t have the money for bus fare to the school and was hoping we could help her via the telephone. After the academic conversation, and knowing that the family had been experiencing homelessness, I asked if we could help her with food or toiletries. She explained that she was feeding her 5 children the last can of chicken noodle soup and did not know where she would find anything for them for dinner.
My Love Pantry coordinator packed up a box of food/personal items, and she and I drove to the apartment complex where the family was now living with her mother and brother. While the Mom shyly told us that the 3 adults in the household had not eaten in 4 days so that the children would be able to share what little food was in the cupboard. We had to strongly encourage the grownups to eat some of the food we brought from the Love Pantry so they would have the stamina needed to care of 5 children.
The family was so happy and thankful to be able to put food out for their children (they have no tables, chairs, or beds) but my coordinator and I felt truly blessed to have the resources from the Love Pantry to support one of our families in need.
Thank you, Love Pantry, for allowing us to help feed our Rock Lake Beavers. Because of thoughtful and dedicated people like you, Rock Lake Elementary moved from the school grade of “D” to a “C” this year.
A father came in to school to report that their home had been broken into a few times within the past month. As a result they were set back financially and were worried about not being able to buy food, or keep up with their monthly bills. He wasn’t sure what to do and was very distraught. While I wasn’t able to completely solve the family’s problems, but it was certainly a huge help to be able to offer emergency food for the family while they worked to get back on their feet. The father expressed gratitude that we offered the Love Pantry, as they would have been unable to reach a food pantry otherwise due to their lack of gas money and transportation issues.
The Conway Elementary Love Pantry Coordinator shared this story about one family who received food and hygiene from the Conway Love Pantry: Annie is a mom who goes to work from early in the morning until around 6:30 p.m. She has two kids at Conway. Also in the household are her mother, an older son, and a four-year old grandchild of Annie. Annie does housekeeping in a hotel near Epcot. They live in a rundown duplex near school, and the landlord doesn’t fix anything around the home that needs fixing. Annie spoke of mold growing in the place. The Love Pantry help doesn’t solve that problem, but it helps, in general, to make this week just a bit easier for Annie and the kids.
Below is a blurb from one of our parents receiving food from the Love Pantry before the holidays:
We are so thankful for the food provided to us. It was a great help as we began the new school year and settled into living in Orlando from Minnesota. While I have a steady job now and we no longer need the help, I cannot be anything but thankful for everyone who helped us during the transition. It was a challenging situation moving here and I am so grateful for the help when we needed it most.
We’ll have a big order this time around–we had a lot of families on our Angel Tree this year (twice as many as ever before) and we’re sending home food from the Love Pantry with them, as well. It’s also raising awareness of the pantry’s availability–2 of the parents today teared up over the gifts, and then outright cried when I handed them bags of food to help with the kids’ lunches and breakfasts during the week next week.
One parent said, “I try so hard never to ask for help, but I just knew we couldn’t afford to get anything for the kids for Christmas with the car breakdown costing over $800 to fix last month. I never dreamed that not only would we be able to give them something to unwrap on Christmas morning, but now I don’t have to worry about them having something in their bellies every morning and afternoon while I’m at work next week. This is such a huge blessing. Thank you, thank you!”
Thank you so much for the Love Pantry. You have no idea how many children you have fed during the last few days here. I have had several new homeless students enter the school and couldn’t believe how quickly my pantry was being cleaned out. I have children in my school who would have gone without food over the Thanksgiving break if it had not been for the Love Pantry. I need a total restock. I can’t thank you enough for all you do. Bless you!!!
Adrienne K. Dienst, MSW
Howard Middle School
We have a family of 3 kids who are homeless at the moment. They sometimes stay at a hotel that only has a microwave. We are able to give them food from the Love Pantry because it all can be cooked using a microwave. The food they received was most likely the only food they had those days. The little girl, who is in fourth grade, told her teacher, “I’m so happy when I see the bags with food here for me!”
We have a family at our school with seven children. The family struggles to have the necessities to carry on everyday life. One parent is working and the other is not due to caregiving of the children ages ranging from 2 through 16. We have provided food for this family out of our Love Pantry and they are very grateful for help received. I have given them the community resource information for assistant to see if there is any other help that can be provided. These parents are good people on hard times. They wanted me to express their thanks for all.
Donna Neubauer, John Young Elementary Love Pantry Coordinator
One of our students just had a mother pass away suddenly. The child and father were overcome with grief, and unexpected/sudden financial hardship. The Walker staff has accommodated this family with the wonderful items that the Love Pantry offers, and with many other special accommodations that we have set in place for the student on the Walker campus. Thank you for the Love Pantry.
Derek Fenton, Walker Middle School SAFE/ Homeless Intervention Coordinator
Lucy has a daughter at Conway Elementary. Because of her job loss, they were forced to move into a hotel. The Love Pantry made a difference as she struggled to get back on her feet. Because of the Love Pantry, Lucy didn’t have to make the choice of paying for the hotel room, or buying food. Now she has been fortunate enough to find work and has been able to lease an apartment. The Love Pantry was there when Lucy and her daughter needed it.