Friday, December 11, 2020
The smiles behind the masks can be seen through the eyes.
It was a brisk morning in Immokalee on Tuesday as Harry Chapin Food Bank trucks arrived early to set up for a 10 a.m. drive-thru distribution. Every Tuesday since March, our trucks arrive at the Boys and Girls Club of Immokalee, one of the many distributions held weekly throughout our five-county footprint. The stories of the families vary as much as the number of cars one sees but they all share one trait.
From a distance, you can make out the eyes of a little girl sitting in the backseat of a car waiting in line. Even with a mask loosely hanging below her cheeks, you can see a smile through her eyes in anticipation of receiving all the nutritious food and fresh produce your food bank provides. As her car inches its way up through the sea of cars waiting, you can just sense the gratitude this family feels knowing that Harry Chapin Food Bank is there to ensure they don’t have to go hungry. Total appreciation.
It is inspiring to see the smile behind the mask of a father who was laid off from his job this past spring as he goes through our distribution with an optimistic attitude. Even though he is struggling to find work, he doesn’t have to worry about his kids going to bed with an empty stomach. Utter gratitude.
It is encouraging to hear from a senior couple on a fixed limited income that they wouldn’t have to skip a meal this week to afford their essential medications. Beauty abounds.
It is heartwarming to hear the relief of a parent who has a special needs child that no longer has to witness the anguish in her child’s eyes when her child says, “Mommy, I’m hungry.” Sheer gratefulness.
With each passing car that comes through our distributions, our volunteers are met with a choir of “thank you” and a sense of appreciation and gratitude. The smiles can be seen behind the masks through their eyes. The air hugs become very tangible. Many of the families we serve express how they never thought they’d have to turn to the food bank for help. We find it comforting knowing that they don’t have to worry about not having enough to eat because of your generosity and this helps us to fuel our food distribution programs.
Harry Chapin Food Bank distributes food to roughly 700 families at each of our drive-thru distributions. We are proud to share that your food bank distributed 1,075,008 pounds of food this week throughout our community.
According to Amy Collette, “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s because of the lavish support of our community that we are serving more than a quarter of a million people each month. It’s because of the generosity of so many that we can lead our community in the fight to end hunger.
To support our efforts, please click here.
If you are looking for food, please click here.
If you are well, able, and willing to volunteer, please click here to sign up.