April 26, 2024 | Empowering Our Neighbors

Neighbor Melissa, “I don’t feel judged”

Every Friday afternoon, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Highwood Mobile Market distributes nutritious food to neighbors in the community facing hunger. During a recent visit to the mobile market, we saw a long line of families, seniors, and individuals waiting in the cold to get milk, chicken, tortillas, potatoes, and much more.  

One of those neighbors was Melissa from Waukegan. Melissa, a single mom to a one-year-old, has been coming to the Highwood mobile market for the last several months. Like so many other families, Melissa said the increasing cost of food has made it difficult for her to get groceries and pay her monthly bills. “It’s been really hard, and I worry a lot. Being food insecure has affected my self-confidence and makes me feel bad,” said Melissa.  

She said finding a consistent place that provides nutritious food and essential goods has had a positive impact on her. “It’s been a relief to know I can come here and get food for my family, and I don’t feel judged.” 

Melissa said she is happy about the variety of offerings at the mobile market. ” “Today there is milk which will help me feed my baby right now, and that is good. One time I got the baby back ribs, and my family was like wow,” adding, “I always get the potatoes, and whenever I get cereal, my baby is happy.”  

Getting a little help during tough times has been a comfort that Melissa is grateful for. “Knowing I can come here to get food makes me feel happy because it helps a lot,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the volunteers and donors who support this mobile market.”