Stephanie is a recent graduate of Kent State University and is currently searching for a job. Because of health issues, the search has been harder than expected. She can’t stand for long periods of time, is hearing impaired, and struggles with frequent seizures.
With lingering bills and the cost of raising her six-year-old and nine-year-old daughters, her family of four is barely making ends meet.
Through a friend Stephanie heard about Our Community Hunger Center food pantry, a member hunger-relief program of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Since the pantry opened, Stephanie has been a few times for groceries.
“I wish people in the community knew hunger is entirely circumstantial,” said Stephanie. “When many people think about hunger they think, ‘Oh they are being lazy or not working enough, but my boyfriend works hard from 9:00am - 7:00pm every week day and we still struggle to get by.”
Since finding this food pantry so close to her home, Stephanie is not only thankful for the fresh breads, produce and fruit they are able to receive—but thankful for the opportunity to provide her daughters with nutritional choices.
“Food is more than food; its experiences with my kids,” said Stephanie. “The variety of nutritional food coming from the Foodbank is inspiring. Just last week I took home kale from this pantry. I made kale chips, and the kids are now asking for them over the potato chips!”
With the help of this pantry, it takes a little of the pressure off of Stephanie’s family. She is looking forward to the day she can come to the pantry solely as a volunteer— to help others that find themselves in her current situation.