As a single mom of three children, Anna was struggling to keep enough food on the table to feed her family when we met her at Second Baptist Church in Joliet. While she receives SNAP benefits (also known as food stamps), the total amount had recently been reduced, and her paycheck from working as a forklift operator with Caterpillar wasn’t enough to make up the difference.
The challenges facing Anna’s family only increased when she lost her job just weeks before Christmas last year. This change in circumstance meant that suddenly, she could no longer put presents under the tree for her kids.
But thanks to the Holiday Meal Box distribution at Second Baptist, she could make sure there was plenty of food on their table in time for the holidays.
“This is so very appreciated and so needed,” Anna said, sharing that while her two older children – ages 10 and 6 – receive free breakfast and lunch as part of the school meal program, but that help does not include holidays, when having well-balanced meals could be challenging.
That’s why the Holiday Meal Box came at a perfect time for her family. “There are a lot of people out there who really need this help,” she said.
Each Holiday Meal Box includes enough food to feed a family of eight, complete with a turkey, stuffing, fresh potatoes, gravy, yams, vegetables, fruit and dessert—all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal.
While at the Holiday Meal Box distribution, Anna also shared that she already has a job interview scheduled, and that she’ll soon be going back to school to study criminal justice. She is hopeful that these steps will give her family more opportunities in the future.
But in the meantime, it’s thanks Food Bank member agencies like Second Baptist Church and donors like you that Anna and other single parents throughout Northern Illinois can find the support they need to make sure healthy meals are on the table not only during the holidays, but all year long!