The Faces of Hunger

The Faces of Hunger

We all need a helping hand sometimes. Meet some of our neighbors who are struggling with hunger – they are children, families and seniors. These are the people you are helping with your support.



Gail is a single mother and grandmother. She uses local food shelves and fresh produce distributions to make up for the food she can’t afford. Gail began seeking out these opportunities for support after losing her job.

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"Produce is expensive, even before I lost my job I was only making minimum wage and it was still hard to come by."

While looking for a job, Gail also hopes to return to school and do something in social services to help others who have found themselves in similar situations – having trouble making ends meet while seeking employment.

"It’s hard for the working poor."
– said Gail


Sarah is a mother of five, a student working towards a master’s degree and a crisis counselor. Sarah and her husband, Anthony, find that even while working, sometimes there just isn’t enough to make ends meet.

To parents, hunger means more than just having an empty stomach. Sarah is also concerned with the quality of food she’s able to find. Providing wholesome food is a priority, regardless of their financial situation – but it can be challenging.

Sarah and her family have visited food shelves and this summer began accessing fresh produce through the free distribution in her neighborhood.

"We always put something on the table, but we can’t always meet the nutrient guidelines we prefer."
– said Sarah



Tara is a proud wife and mother. More than four years ago, Tara lost her eldest daughter to a battle with pediatric cancer and her husband lost his job. Medical bills and funeral expenses were piling up. Tara and her family reached out to friends, family and the local food shelf for the first time to help get food on the table for her children. The local food shelf provided temporary support and soon, her husband was back to work.

For more than three years, Tara and her family were supporting themselves and even building up savings. Then, her husband got injured and was unable to work. Tara turned to Second Harvest Heartland and we were there with more than food. We helped provide hope and a reminder that while their situation is trying, it’s temporary. Tara’s husband is back at work and her family is once again slowly catching up. When she thinks back on her experience, she knows that there is so much more to our work than what most people see.

"It goes deeper than a food bank, it actually touches people’s lives and adds humanity to the process. The food is not going to a number."
– said Tara