The first thing you learn when you rely on the food bank to feed your family is that you can't rely on the food bank to feed your family. Not entirely, anyway. The truth is, many families struggle with hunger despite regular visits to their local food pantry.
According to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 11.8 percent of Americans are food insecure. I've experienced this first hand. I was a food bank customer myself — a single working mother whose paychecks barely covered rent, daycare, utilities and gas, let alone food.
My local food pantry was in the basement of a church. There was a wide parking lot to the side, but I always parked my car around the corner, where'd I'd be less likely to be spotted. I was already ashamed to be seen chugging along in a car with a smoking tailpipe and paying for fuel with stacks of change at the gas station. I couldn't bear to have anyone know that I couldn't afford to feed my son.
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