Food is at the center of many holiday celebrations. The planning, the shopping, the prep; kitchens filled with heady scents of roasting turkey, spiced pies, and baking bread. Coming together with families and friends over a table filled with traditional favorites and all the trimmings helps give meaning to the holidays.
But, for families struggling to make ends meet, food insecurity brings not just hunger but anxiety and isolation.
“There are families that just can’t do it. If you have a limited budget, you can’t spend $25 on a turkey, let alone all the trimmings,” says Terry Ross, a home health aide from Enfield. “It’s really depressing. Without the food, it’s not even a holiday; it’s just a sad day.”
Thanks to our network of donors and our partner pantries, thousands of individuals and families will celebrate the holidays with full hearts and bellies. Your support gives families like Terry’s so much more than just a holiday meal; it provides the means to experience traditions with loved ones and a reason to give thanks.
Terry lost her home in a fire nine years ago and has struggled to come back from the loss. When she had to take a lower paying job five years ago but didn’t qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, she needed help making ends meet. Through disability and retirement, she’s become a pantry regular.
Terry is grateful for the Enfield Food Pantry, which opens its doors two days each week to anyone in need. Clients make their way through tables laden with quality meats, fresh produce and dairy, baked goods, and pantry staples from the Food Bank, as well as toiletries and other necessary household items.
More than just a place to get food, the Enfield Food Pantry — like so many other community organizations — provides community, where pantry director Jean Owens and the volunteer staff greet and get to know clients, Terry says.
“This place has been a godsend. I come here as often as I can,” she says. “Jean is amazing. She really cares. This is her passion, and she makes sure people have what they need to survive.”
Without the pantry, the holidays wouldn’t be the same.
“Some of us wouldn’t have a turkey or ham at the holidays, and the pantry has all the trimming to make a great holiday meal. Not just the basics, but some goodies, too,” Terry says.
Because of the food the Food Bank provides to its partner agencies, Terry and so many pantry clients can participate in the true spirit of the holidays.
“I’ve gotten a Thanksgiving turkey and been able to share with family who wouldn’t have had anything,” Terry says. “It’s a really big deal when people donate to make this happen.”