Alexa (and her older sister) know very well why I chose this work. If I had nowhere to turn and was hungry, I’d want to know there was someone to help me.
Foodshare is a lifeline to 137,000 people in our community who might not know where their next meal is coming from. Growing up in a household that doesn’t have consistent access to healthy food can be very scary for a kid. I know because I was that kid.
After my dad died suddenly, my mother set the dinner table each night, with a repeated warning, “Make it last because I don’t know when we’ll have more again.” This was hard on us, especially after growing up in the restaurant business and having access to more hotel kitchens and dining rooms than I can even remember.
This is how people end up on food assistance though – one event can change everything. In the blink of an eye my mother was left to provide for us on her own, and we had very little, but we made it work.
I’m not sure if my mom didn’t know there was help out there, or if she was just too ashamed to ask, but I do know that part of my job at Foodshare is to tell the stories of people who are brave enough to ask for help. I share these stories with the Greater Hartford community to encourage financial support that Foodshare needs to feed our hungry neighbors.
My daughter, Alexa, has read these stories, and she knows Foodshare will be there when people need a helping hand. She even got out of the Foodshare office long enough to visit one of our partner programs, Hope for Life pantry in Granby. She was amazed at how much food there was, just waiting for families in need.
I know Alexa shared her special day at Foodshare with her friends and teachers. I just hope among them was the person who needed to hear: Help is out there.
~Merry Renduchintala, Foodshare staff member