Every time Stephanie comes home from a Food Bank distribution, the box of food she receives seems like a Christmas present to her 5-year-old daughter. As she helps her mom unpack the box, her mom teaches her about the food inside.
For the family of three, the food they receive from the Food Bank is extra special, because it means being able to provide their daughter with food items, like juice and apple sauce, that they had to cut from their grocery budget to make ends meet.
The family has had a tough time getting back on their feet after Stephanie’s family was uprooted from Georgia when her husband, a member of the Army National Guard, was transferred to Camp Mabry in Austin. The couple used all their savings on the move.
“I feel like it’s a little bit more rough transition for us just because all of our finances went into buying our house and then we swiped our savings to be able to purchase our house and then COVID hits,” Stephanie said.
With their belongings getting delayed and Stephanie having to look for a job in a new city and during the pandemic, the couple was having a difficult time meeting their basic needs.
“It was pretty crazy when we first moved here, it took about three to four weeks for us to get our stuff, so not only are we going to Walmart to buy groceries but like a pot or a pan or a shower curtain,” Stephanie said.
With their daughter at home due to the pandemic and one income to support the family, they needed extra help putting food on the table.
“Even though there’s only three of us you would think that it’s not that big of a grocery bill, but in all reality when now you’re serving breakfast, lunch and dinner because the school isn’t taking on some of that responsibility, it can be tight,” she said.
Stephanie saw information about the Food Bank on Facebook. With help from the Food Bank and her parents, the family has been able to receive nourishing meals.
“What brings me out here is how awesome the [food] package is. It’s really, truly helpful for what has been going on right now,” Stephanie said.
Fortunately, Stephanie has been able to land a job, and with the help from the Food Bank, the family is able to stretch their budget to get back on their feet.
This holiday season will be extra special for the family. Thanks to the Food Bank they’ll be able to share a turkey she received at one of our distributions. After months of not seeing their family, practicing social distance and starting over in a new city, Stephanie’s family will be able to spend the holidays with her parents and her grandma, who she fears might be having her last holiday season with the family.
“To the donors who provide all this, you guys might know how much you guys bring to us but you don’t know. You just don’t know the change it brings to us and how grateful we are. I don’t think I can express enough gratitude towards the donors… just from a military family to be uprooted and to have you guys here and just be grateful for y’all. I appreciate it and just thank you to the donors,” Stephanie said.