Jennifer would do anything for her children. She knows one of the best things she can do to ensure their happy and healthy growth and development is fill their table with nutritious food. But that’s not always easy to do.
When we met Jennifer, her husband didn’t have steady work. Most of the family’s income was coming from his odd jobs and helping out at a local church. Jennifer plans to go back to work as soon as her youngest kids — Kylie, 3, and Kyrie, 4 — are old enough to go to school. Until then, the family will continue to struggle.
The day we spoke with Jennifer at Cornucopia Food Pantry, a Food Bank partner near her home in Rockford, she had Kylie and Kyrie in tow. They’re bright and energetic children with a preference for healthy food. Kyrie told us he loves when his mom cooks the greens she gets from the pantry, and Kylie was hoping there’d be grapes — they’re her favorite.
Not all kids get excited about fresh produce, and Jennifer says she feels lucky she doesn’t have to convince her children to eat fruits and vegetables. She also feels fortunate to be able to access these nutrient-rich foods, which are expensive at the grocery store.
“It helps a lot,” she says of the food pantry.
Food pantries like Cornucopia will be essential for so many families like Jennifer’s during the summer when their school-age children aren’t able to eat full meals in the school cafeteria through the free and reduced-price school meal programs.
These programs are a lifeline to many families, but when they stop during the summer months, caregivers who are already facing financial challenges have the added expense of two meals per child each weekday.
Thanks to your partnership, Jennifer doesn’t have to worry about how to fill her kids’ bellies. She’s so thankful for the peace of mind your gifts help provide. Thank you for connecting her family — and countless others — with nutritious groceries!
If you’d like to support the children and their families who are struggling to make ends meet this summer, please consider making a generous donation here.