Bridging the Hunger Gap

Bridging the Hunger Gap 1071 535 Harry Chapin Food Bank

Harry Chapin Food Bank has been in Debbie’s life for over ten years. Debbie, a single mother of two, received a diagnosis from her doctor she never thought possible. She was very ill, and treatment options were inadequate in helping her recover. The outcome looked grave.

Debbie worked full-time with a stable income and good insurance, but when her body started to reject the treatments, her illness rendered her unable to continue working, and in turn, she lost her health insurance. Debbie remembers that she was worried since she needed to take care of her two growing teenagers. Food became scarce in the house. Debbie did everything she could to keep working, decreasing her hours to part-time so she could still pay for medication, but there was little left over for anything else. She couldn’t make ends meet.

Debbie turned to Harry Chapin Food Bank by way of CHAPS. CHAPS is one of over 150 agencies in our Partner Agency Program, a network that bridges the gap between the food bank and people who are hungry and cannot access food through our other distribution programs. Our partners include social service agencies, faith-based congregations, nonprofits and community organizations, operating throughout our five-county footprint, where families can acquire food in their own communities. As trusted extensions of our mission, we provide our partner agencies roughly 70% of their food inventory, a critical component of all our partners, as distribution numbers have grown exponentially. Last year, CHAPS alone distributed 87,632 pounds of food, an increase of 20,209 pounds in one year!

Harry Chapin Food Bank and CHAPS ensured that Debbie’s family had nutritious and healthy foods critical for her growing children and for Debbie’s own health. Our various food procurement strategies allow us to provide our partner agencies with our shelf-stable fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and milk as well as fresh produce and other perishable foods. Our membership with Feeding America affords us the ability to rescue food that would otherwise go to waste from various national retail and grocery stores, national food providers and farms. Consequently, the food bank is the safety net of our community.

Today, Debbie is in remission. Her gratitude for our Partner Agency Program and CHAPS runs deep. She regularly volunteers at CHAPS and for the food bank.

“Harry Chapin Food Bank and CHAPS saved my family. That is why I am here, giving my time and showing my children that life is a true circle.”

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