Quietly shopping the shelves of his local pantry, Triston and his 7-year-old son, Christian, are excited to see pantry staples like peanut butter and jelly, along with fresh fruit. He shows his son the proper way to bag the groceries, to ensure the bread doesn’t get smashed.
Before the first grader packs away the Uncrustable sandwiches he was so excited to see, he offers one to me. Teaching his children manners, respect and how to be kind to others is evident in Triston’s thoughtful conversations with his son.
Triston hasn’t always needed to visit the pantry to make ends meet. Four years ago, his wife was diagnosed with a degenerative disease of the nervous system that affects her muscle coordination. She needs a full-time caregiver, so Triston had to quit his job. He receives help, but it’s not enough to feed a family of four, especially two growing, active boys.
Committed to showing his sons that an education is important, Triston is enrolled at Stark State College, studying criminal justice online. He hopes to become a
police officer or find a career in which he can help and protect people.
“Receiving this food allows me to do the other things I need to do to care for my family. Words just aren’t enough to show how appreciative we are.”