Dawn and her husband, Ritchie, are parents again. After their daughter passed away in a car accident a few years ago, they adopted their two grandkids. They sold their business so they could focus full-time on the kids, taking them to grief counseling, helping with schoolwork and adjusting to their new normal. Eventually, Ritchie went back to work, just as the pandemic hit.
“Our family has been through so much that I was embarrassed to ask for help with food too,” explains Dawn. “I cannot tell you how much this food is helping us during such crazy times.”
The first time their family received food was at a mobile food distribution. For a mobile food distribution, Second Harvest Food Bank delivers a semi truck full of food to out into the community. A local feeding partner helps unload and distribute the food. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Second Harvest is increasing food distribution to support two or three mobile food distributions daily. Families stay in their cars and open the trunk, hatch or backseat for food to be placed inside by volunteers. This contactless model gets more food into the hands of more people quickly and safely. Each truckload can feed 500 families in a matter of hours.
“I just got in my car and drove to the church, not sure what to expect,” Ritchie recalls. Since he was furloughed from his job, he went alone. Dawn and the kids stayed home. Within minutes of arriving, he opened his trunk and rolled to the first stop where volunteers placed fresh produce, like orange and potatoes inside. He pulled up to another station where they added frozen meat, and then another with canned goods and bottled water.
“There were a bunch of stops and at each one the volunteer would say, ‘Thank you’ or ‘Bless you,’ but really, you’re the ones that deserve the thanks,” says Ritchie.
Since the start of the pandemic, either Ritchie or Dawn has driven to a mobile food drop in Volusia County almost monthly. Ritchie has started back to work part-time, but they are still digging out of the financial hole created earlier this year. The food they receive helps relieve stress and allows them to focus on their grandkids’ education and well-being.
“You’ve helped my family out tremendously. I cannot thank you enough,” Dawn says.
You can give hope to families facing hunger.
A $10 gift can provide 40 meals.