Hope for the Hungry [Angela’s story]

When her cupboard was bare, you came through for Angela! 

It seemed like all of Angela’s dreams were coming true.

The adoption papers had been finalized. She was getting ready to start a new job that would allow ample time with her new baby. Everything she had worked for was finally falling into place.

Then Angela tested positive for COVID-19.

“I had it for 19 days, so it was pretty bad.” Angela remembers. “You can’t leave your house; you can’t do anything.”

The virus effectively put her under house arrest. Her employer moved on. Without the ability to buy food, her health and her adoption were in jeopardy.

In desperation, Angela reached out for help through email – and you answered the call.

Angela was in a tight spot. She couldn’t leave her house and was running out of food. But even if her COVID disappeared tomorrow, she didn’t have the money to afford groceries – let alone all the things her new baby would need. In a frenzy, she began emailing organizations across the Valley looking for help. Thanks to your support, our Case Manager Ceanna responded.

“Ceanna was the one who ended up emailing me back and saying that she found my information, and that she wanted to help me. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s so awesome!’ I was so thankful because I couldn’t get an answer from anyone else.”

The next day, Angela opened her door to find food, clothes and a few surprises waiting for her.

“Ceanna showed up at my door with all kinds of food. They gave me meat, eggs, milk, produce, canned goods, everything that I need. It was all fresh, nothing out of date. They even gave me vitamins for COVID, and toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and a bunch of toiletries.”

When Angela needed help putting food on the table for herself and her baby, your support allowed our Hope for Hunger Food Bank to be there with fresh food and other essentials for them.

But it was what she found next that touched her heart.

“I found things in there for my baby,” she says wiping away a tear. “They gave me little clothes, pacifiers, diapers, wipes and formula too... Then Ceanna says to me, ‘Whatever you need, just tell me, and I’ll get it for you. If we have it, it’s yours.’ All I could say was, ‘Wow!’”

“Wow!” That’s the sound of your support in action. Today, Angela is the proud mother of a 4-month-old, she’s COVID-free and is well on her way to finding employment through our Vocational Development Program – thanks to the loving partnership of friends like you.

But Angela’s predicament is far from unique. Since the pandemic, a staggering 1 in 3 households in Arizona are experiencing food insecurity. That’s a 28% increase over the year before! Out of sight and alone, it’s easy for people like Angela to fall through the cracks.

Elzbieta, a 55-year-old immigrant from Poland was struggling to make rent when the pandemic hit.

“I moved to Glendale to work at a German restaurant, then the business closed because of the coronavirus.”

Then Elzbieta got sick.

“About December, I got the coronavirus myself. I was struggling with it for six weeks. I needed help! Then somebody told me about you [Phoenix Rescue Mission].”

When Elzbieta came knocking, your compassion opened the door, bringing fresh food and toiletries to her home.

“God provided for me! The [Hope for Hunger] Food Bank means so much. Looking at what they have given me makes me say ‘hallelujah!’ I appreciate it so much. It’s wonderful!”

Elzbieta migrated from Poland, but found herself out of work because of COVID. She was directed to Phoenix Rescue Mission where she found the help she needed.

Without you, these and many other stories would turn tragic. But thanks to your support, we’re able to stand in the gap for people like Angela and Elzbieta, giving them hope and a hand up that sees them through to the other side of these uncertain times.

In 2020, food prices jumped 2.6% and it shows no sign of stopping. The USDA estimates grocery bills rising another 3% by the end of the year – putting a huge strain on the families we serve.

nbcnews.com, ers.usda.gov

With your support during Hunger Action Month each September and throughout the rest of the year, we’re standing in the gap to keep hungry men, women and children safe and fed. You can make a difference today by starting a canned food drive in your neighborhood, workplace or church.
Visit phxmission.org/needs for more information.