Your gift to Second Harvest is a godsend to families like Mel and her teenage boys. She was a manager at Winn-Dixie for many years, until she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She hasn’t been able to go back to work, and to make ends meet she relies on disability and Hope the Food Pantry, a Second Harvest partner food pantry in New Orleans East.
She remembers what it was like to grow up in poverty, and is now trying to do the best for her teenage sons. “Growing up most of my life we had our lights and water off. Not having food at night, you have to hurry up and get to school early in the morning, and the cafeteria worker is sneaking you food for your siblings.”
Mel had to dumpster-dive to feed her children, and it was the lowest point of her life. Trying to provide for her kids, she says, “the meals were kind of short, and that’s what made me come here…it helps because I’m so used to having an income and not receiving food stamps.”
She doesn’t like the idea of a handout, so she is also one of Hope’s hardest-working volunteers. It’s her way of giving back. She says, “This is my passion, you have to really have a heart to serve, and though I’m not getting paid a salary, I’m being paid spiritually. So this is what I love to do and it blesses me.”
Mel expressed her gratitude for all the Second Harvest donors who help us provide food to pantries like Hope, and hundreds of other organizations in communities across South Louisiana. “If it wasn’t for these food pantries, a lot of people will really struggle. So from my heart, I humbly say thank you and I pray to God that it continues to flow, so people won’t be hungry anymore.”