Key to providing nutritious food to our neighbors and engaging the community in the fight against hunger is raising awareness about the local need. We did that recently with a letter in MinnPost, helping to answer the question we’re often asked: Why are there still food lines? We added our perspective to a Star Tribune article on the topic, too.
It’s not only about the need but the impact our work makes every day, for thousands of Minnesotans each week. We’ve been collecting shopper stories to help describe the power of a full cupboard. Learn more about Gina, Beth & Barb, Lisa, and Susan – each shoppers at Today’s Harvest, each with their own unique story.
As a kid, Gina never imagined being rich or having a lot of money when she grew up. She also didn’t see herself enrolled in public assistance programs or shopping at a free market. That’s partly because she didn’t think she would be divorced and raising two boys in her mid-30s.
“The day I finally came, I left thinking, ‘I can’t believe I am leaving with two grocery bags.’ I try to come most days when it works.”
For Gina, Today’s Harvest brings peace of mind and reduced stress. The ease of the experience, how welcoming staff and volunteers are, makes shopping enjoyable, for her and her kids.
There’s so much more to Gina’s story. Read it here.
Caregiving comes naturally for Beth and Barb. It started when the twin sisters were just seven years old and their mother delivered another set of twins, this time boys, and the expanded family needed helping hands.
Now 63 years old, caregiving has been the theme of their lives. But so, too, has struggle. Both worked, Beth as a sign language interpreter and Barb as a photographer, but their paychecks couldn’t keep up with expenses or with the challenges life threw at their family.
There’s so much more to Beth and Barb’s story. Read it here.
Two years ago, Lisa made the difficult decision to leave the life she knew to pursue sobriety and a life that reflected her values. The transition also ushered in an unstable living situation, and the fear that asking for help might mean her son would be taken away from her.
It has been a journey for Lisa. But today, the Open Cupboard and Today’s Harvest make the healthy choice an easier, more accessible choice. They’re critical partners on her recovery and stability journey. It’s the type of partnership she and people in crisis and transition don’t often find.
There’s so much more to Lisa’s story. Read it here.
Susan works part-time supporting people with special needs. She spends her weekends working another part-time job, most recently driving for Lyft. Susan is 68 years old.
“I had to stop working at 62 because of a bad accident that was not my fault, so I had to start withdrawing social security early. I can’t live on my social security and pension. I’ll have to work ‘til I’m about dead.”
There’s so much more to Susan’s story. Read it here.