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Hunger Stories

Elizabeth, Staten Island soup kitchen and food pantry guest

Elizabeth Huger Story (2)“When Hurricane Sandy came there was water everywhere. I don’t have a car, so the police helped me get out of my house. I had to leave everything behind. It was almost four days before I could come back. I didn’t have any food, so I went to Project Hospitality looking for something to eat. So many people came through there. I was able to get a meal and also some food to take home. I’m thankful for that. We need to have more places where you can get food in an emergency. This hurricane caused so much disaster and I still worry every day. It’s not easy. But I’m OK, thank God.”

We met Elizabeth at Project Hospitality on Staten Island, a Food Bank For New York City network member

Photo Credit: Melanie Dunea


James, food pantry guest

James, food pantry guest"I work professionally as a seasonal tax preparer. I've also volunteered with the Food Bank to help people with their taxes. Because of that I got on the Food Bank's email list, and that's how I heard about the food pantry. Even now that I finally found work outside of tax season, it's still hard to afford food.

"I like that you get to choose what you want here. There are so many options. I’m not a great cook, so I like the canned goods and the dry grains. They last a long time and are pretty easy to prepare. Sometimes I bring some of the food to my mom and sisters. They’re much better cooks than I am, and they really like the fresh produce.

"I live twenty blocks away — I've lived here my whole life. It's a bit of a trip to come here but it's worth it. I've been coming for several months and I get meals at the soup kitchen upstairs sometimes too.

"I am very grateful that this resource is available and still open. It isn't a hassle to get help, and that's nice. I'm thankful and appreciative that our community has it."

Deborah, food pantry guest

"About five years ago I lost some of my vision because of glaucoma. I have a hard time getting around, so I’m not able to come to the food pantry as often as I’d like. It’s pretty close to where I live though, so it’s not too hard. The people here make it easy for me too. They bring me right inside when they see me, so I don't have to wait in line.

"I wouldn’t be able to stay as healthy without the Community Kitchen. I have a special diet because of high blood pressure and my groceries can get really expensive. Here you get such a great variety of things — and I eat it all!

"I plan on shopping here for the holidays. When I think of the holidays I think of food and family. Being warm and cozy and happy and having enough to eat. This food helps me have a good holiday.

"I come to the pantry only when I need it. I don't want to take advantage of their generosity because there are people who truly need the pantry more than I do. My food stamps don't come till the middle of the month, and I’ve learned to balance things out, but sometimes I need the help to make it through.

"I would like to thank the people who provide us with these services. I hope it continues to be here to help all the people who need it.”

We met Deborah during food pantry distribution at the Food Bank's Community Kitchen & Food Pantry

"This is the first food pantry I've ever come to. I lost my job about a year ago. I've been able to find occasional work, but I've been basically unemployed ever since."
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“We worked our whole lives and happily retired when we were ready and able — that was 20 years ago. My wife passed away several years ago. I'm a widow and take care of myself. “
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"John, along with his mother and younger brother, were victims of mental, emotional and physical abuse. Fortunately, they found the courage to leave and come here.”
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"My sister and I both get food stamps, and she gets some WIC [Women, Infants and Children], but it's still hard to keep the fridge full by the end of the month.”
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"After I retired, I moved my father here from Puerto Rico to live with me. I do everything I can for him, but it's not easy.”
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“I'm not on public assistance any more, thank god, but it's still a struggle. I work for a health care agency, but it's not enough. And I'm getting too old to work.”
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