For Families Like Tara’s, We’re More Than a Food Bank

Tara D Story Header

January 31, 2017 By: Marie Pauley Category: SHH News

A layoff, loss of a child and an injury resulting in three months with no income for your family - for most of us, just one of these situations would be overwhelming and it’s easy to think, “This would never happen to me.” 

For Tara, a proud wife and mother, this was her reality.  More than four years ago, Tara lost her eldest daughter to a battle with pediatric cancer. Around the same time, her husband also lost his job. With one less income, medical bills piling up and funeral expense pending, 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 the temporary support her family needed until they got caught up on bills and her husband was back to work. For more than three years, Tara and her family were comfortable and even getting ahead with a little savings. Then her husband got injured and was once again out of work. Their income went from livable to nothing.

“Medical bills were coming back; we were paying for minimums on everything.  In regards to bills versus groceries, I mean I have children, they needed the food.”

While the local food shelf provided great support, it wasn’t enough to feed their family of four for the entire month. Tara reached out to Second Harvest Heartland and our staff was able to help her get temporary assistance through SNAP and connected to other resources until her husband was able to return to work.

Second Harvest Heartland was there for Tara and her family with more than food. We helped provide hope and a reminder that while their situation is trying, it is temporary.

Tara’s husband is now back at work and they are, slowly catching up. When she thinks back on her experience with Second Harvest Heartland, 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 [of getting help], I’m not just a number to you; the food is not going to a number,” said Tara through tears of gratefulness and hope.

It is because of you - our donors and partners that we are more than a food bank for families like Tara’s. Quite simply, we can’t continue to help every hungry neighbor without your help. Thank you.

Visit our get involved page to learn about all of the ways you can join our mission and help end hunger in your community.


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