by Samuel Ching McGrath
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I have been thinking about a woman I met recently at a Food Bank member program, the Riverside Church Food Pantry in Morningside Heights. I already knew that women and children are two of the groups most at-risk for hunger in our city, but meeting Yolanda really helped me understand the reality of that situation.
Until recently Yolanda had been struggling to support her three sons with a low-wage job and food stamps to help fill in the gaps. She is a single mother, and is able to find help from her sister from time to time. But since Yolanda’s sister has a child of her own and takes care of their mother, there is only so much she is able to help.
When a friend told her about the food pantry at Riverside, it was a great relief. “I didn’t know these types of services were available,” she told me. “And I didn’t expect to get bags of food!” Now, when times are tough, Yolanda is still able to provide her sons with a home-cooked meal, using the groceries she can pick up at the food pantry.
I am always amazed by the strength of the Food Bank’s clients, and single mothers like Yolanda are often among the New Yorkers I am most impressed by. Although Yolanda struggles from month to month to support three young sons, she still has the energy to look for a way to give back to her community. "It's inspirational what the Riverside Church Food Pantry does for me and the local community,” Yolanda said. “This encourages me to want to give somebody else help and reach out whenever I can.”
If you can, we hope that you will consider making a donation to support all of the mothers like Yolanda who struggle to afford food in our city. A great way to do this right now is to make a gift in honor of your mother – sending her one of our new Mother’s Day eCards, including a card with a photo of Yolanda and two of her sons. Thank you!
Samuel Ching McGrath is The Food Bank For New York City's Individual Giving Manager