Food Changes Holidays

Food Changes Holidays Header

November 29, 2017 By: Marie Pauley Category: SHH News

For too many families, the holidays are a time of hunger. Here are a few of the families that are balancing a razor-thin budget while working to provide food for their family and continue to make the holidays special.


Perry, his wife and three children recently moved from the Twin Cities to southern Minnesota. It wasn’t an easy decision and when they first arrived, it was difficult to find housing and the family of five ended up living in a hotel. The expense cost them everything they had, leaving nothing for food.  At the beginning, “there were times when we didn't know how we would get our next meal,” shared Perry.

But there is no amount of pride that will stand in the way of Perry providing for his family.

With the help of the local food bank, Perry and his family were able to access enough food to ease that burden and focus on finding a stable place to live and maybe even have a little extra.

 “A few months ago we were able to find housing. We’re settled in now, and our financial situation has improved to the point that we don’t need to use the food pantry regularly”, said Perry. “But it’s comforting to know that if we need it, it’s there – and that because of them, I’ll never have to worry about my children going hungry.”


Imagine sitting down to a holiday meal, knowing that it’s only possible because you chose to skip having a prescription filled. That’s what Tawanda did before finding her local food shelf, but now she doesn’t have to choose.

“It helps out a lot” said Tawanda. “During the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the food pantry gives ham or turkey, as well as fresh vegetables. They make sure we have a good meal to eat for the holidays.”


We met Heather while she enjoyed a meal at a local meal program. With three kids surrounding her and full plates in front of each of them, she exuded thankfulness. For Heather, the holidays are a time to give thanks for what she has, but also a time to dream of a better future for her family.

“It’s a struggle. You want to be happy during the holidays, but it can be frustrating trying to get everything in order,” said Heather. “You’re pressured to provide for your children the same way you always have, even if you’re not in the same place financially. Whether it’s having visitors over or bringing a dish to share somewhere else—you feel like you have to keep up with everyone else.”

The food Heather receives from her local food shelf and meals like the one she was enjoying when we spoke help get her through the holidays.


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