Joy is the sole provider for her children. And since she has a large family, coming up with food for everyone is often difficult.

“When the pandemic hit, everything changed. My kids didn’t go to school, so I had to put my job on hold to be home with them,” Joy says.

She shares that her children receive free lunch at school. Under the lockdown, Joy had to find a way to make up for the 10 to 15 meals each week they would normally get at school – without her usual income.

“I was in total panic mode.”

In November, things worsened when Joy’s daughter tested positive for COVID-19. Her whole family caught the virus and they all had to stay home. With her household under quarantine, Joy couldn’t go out to get food.

“Some days I wasn’t sure what we were going to eat.”

Thankfully, she called the Iowa Falls Alternative School, a partner pantry of Food Bank of Iowa, and they gave her the healthy food she and her family needed to keep their heads above water. She’s so grateful. Without this resource, they “would go hungry,” Joy says.

“To the volunteers and donors,” she adds, “thank you so much. Because of you, we’re able to eat.”

Donors like you connect families like Joy’s to the food they need to survive. We are grateful to you, our generous friends, for standing with us to help alleviate hunger in our community.