Getting Help, and Giving Back – The New York Times

Posted: December 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm


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He wasnt getting fed the quality of food he really needed for his day-to-day survival, Ms. Lee said. Then one night were sitting on the porch and I hear preaching. Dacian and I walked seven blocks until we stumbled into a huge community dinner.

Pushing her sons stroller, Ms. Lee had happened upon the Freedom Gathering, a church-affiliated dinner that serves as many as 200 people every Thursday in a small vacant lot. Clothing and free to-go lunches are offered there as well.

Seven blocks is a long way to hear someone preaching, Ms. Lee said. And I never really heard it again. It led us to that dinner, which saved us in so many ways.

From the Freedom Gathering, Ms. Lee was referred to a pair of nearby food pantries: Hungers End, which provides groceries, clothing and hygiene products to more than 500 families a month, and Our Daily Bread, which serves meals to about 250 people a day, seven days a week. They are among the 200 food banks affiliated with Feeding America, a beneficiary agency of The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

Our Daily Breads self-serve pantry has provided Ms. Lee with essentials like diapers as well as coffee, canned soup and peanut butter. When fresh produce or organic macaroni and cheese comes through, Ms. Lee said, volunteers often set it aside for her. In 2018, Feeding Tampa Bay, part of Feeding Americas national network, began delivering organic food to Hungers End and other pantries in the Bradenton area. Twice a month, an outdoor pantry is assembled and opened to anyone in need. Ms. Lee returned from her most recent visit to the Hungers End fresh market with organic butter, coconut milk, mangoes, brussels sprouts and raspberries.

Because she cares for Dacian full time, money is tight. The $146 she receives in food stamps each month covers just one weeks groceries; she pays for another week out of her $700 monthly Social Security check. Utilities run about $300, leaving little for Ms. Lee to save or spend on herself.

Ms. Lee knew it was imperative to remove processed foods and refined sugars from her sons diet. Once his diet improved, Dacians symptoms subsided significantly and he started sleeping through the night for the first time in his life.

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Getting Help, and Giving Back - The New York Times

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December 12th, 2019 at 12:45 pm

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