Giving and Receiving Help, and Hope
Emily has been volunteering at the McKinley Community Outreach Food Pantry for over three years. She has also been a client for eight years – since a lifesaving surgery left her on disability and unable to hold a regular job.
“It makes a huge difference for us,” she said. The food she gets also benefits her mother, who is retired, and her daughter, 19, who has a gluten allergy. In fact, Emily’s family gets 75% of their food from the McKinley facility, as well as through other partner agencies.
“Sometimes I’ve had to choose between paying bills and buying food. The Food Pantry has saved my life and has kept my family from going hungry,” she said. “It’s also helped me manage my diabetes. I would be at rock bottom without them.”
To give back to the community, Emily volunteers at McKinley five days a week. She works on the holiday toy give-away, mentors young adults in the Ohio Guidestone program, and helps with other programs in the facility. “Volunteering here, at least I can give back. That’s what’s important to me. I can’t do anything else, because of me being sick.”
Emily thanks everyone who supports the Food Bank “from the bottom of my heart.” She added, “I’ve gotten help and survival for almost the last 8 years. If it wasn’t for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, it wouldn’t be possible.”
Written by Naomi Kall.