"I can provide for my family again."
Northeast Iowa Food Bank
I used to work for a cable company. I grew up in poverty, and I swore that my family would never go through what I did. So, I chased the dollar – worked day in and day out to provide. We had it all, really – the house, the cars, even boats. But then I got hurt at work, and it all fell apart.
There was an accident that sent a piece of coaxial cable right through my eye. I was supposed to be out for a while, but it turned out that the cable ruined my vision and left me unfit for the job. I was left relying on workman’s comp, but that wasn’t enough to feed my family.
I did not want to visit a food pantry. I had promised myself that I would never be in a position where I couldn’t provide for my family. I’m not one to ask for a hand out. But there I was, without work and without food. My wife took it upon herself to go to the pantry because we had kids to feed. She began to insist I go with her. I did, and my life changed.
I was scared walking through that door for the first time. I thought I’d be judged – but really, I was just judging myself. Everyone was so kind. They shook my hand, hugged me, and helped me see that this didn’t mean I was a failure, it just meant that I needed help to get back on my feet.
I began to volunteer at the pantry. They saw something in me, and soon, hired me. I was later promoted to a director, and now I’m in charge of a program that works with families to break the cycle of poverty. I can provide for my family again, and not only that, I’m truly fulfilled. I know I’m making a big difference in people’s lives.
The food pantry gave me a hand up, not a hand out. My success is a product of their support. I’m truly grateful for everything they’ve done and I’m passionate about paying it forward. There are so many others out there waiting to achieve similar success, they just need a little extra help to get there. I’m committed to helping as many people as I can feed their families and reach a brighter future.