Every meal has a story like Darlene's

Darlene is extremely engaged in her three grandchildren’s lives. She encourages healthy eating habits, helps with homework and attends school meetings. She’s also their full-time caregiver.

Darlene has seen much heartache during her 57 years. She’s lost a husband, survived divorce and battled cancer. As a single mother of four, she has a child with mental health issues and another in prison due to drug use. She has full custody of three of her grandchildren, ages 4 to 9 years old.

Darlene receives some help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but providing for a family of four on a fixed income can be difficult.

“The end of the month is a little tight. It means no extra things for the kids; no recreational activities.”

Her grandson, Cameron, is a student at the newly-opened I PROMISE School in Akron. In partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank operates a food pantry within the Family Resource Center at the school.

Darlene enjoys fresh produce, bread, milk and healthy food options from the pantry. “The pantry feels a lot like family. You feel loved and respected.”

When looking toward the future, Darlene hopes her grandchildren find success in anything they do. “I want them to have the chances that other kids have. I want them to have a dream and go for it.”