Every family and individual struggling with hunger has a story to share. We would like to introduce you to some of our neighbors and friends who have chosen to share their stories.
Nicholas and Amanda Watson recently shared their story with us describing how an unforeseen medical emergency caused them to lose almost everything. At birth their daughter Neveah (now 4 years old) suffered from Asphyxia, a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen and often leads to brain damage. Because of this critical condition they had to get transferred to a specialized facility out of the area. In the process of fighting for her life, the Watson family lost their home. Now they are living in a shelter and receive nutritious food from the SLO County Food Bank programs made possible by our generous donors. “Healthy food is important to us because we weren’t able to eat healthy before,” said Nick, gratefully. With access to wholesome food, their future is brighter.
Seniors eventually depend upon friends to get by – especially when they don’t have family nearby. Let me introduce you to Patricia Swearengin, she just celebrated her 100th birthday in February surrounded by family and friends and is very grateful for their support and generosity saying, “I’m lucky, I have a lot of friends so I get a lot of help. I don’t need much but I sure do appreciate the help.” Patricia is a recipient at one of our new Senior Farmers Market sites at an affordable living mobile home park in our county. Read more about Patricia's story here.
["We at the Food Bank were saddened to learn that Patricia died unexpectedly after this letter was mailed. We are honored to have met her, and glad that she was so happy to be able to express her gratitude for her friends and family so publicly." -Carl Hansen, CEO]
Children will eat healthy when they own the idea. Empowering children to eat healthy through the choices they make is what the Food Bank’s county wide Children’s Farmer’s Market program is all about. Just ask Morgan and Madison who have become powerful advocates for healthy food. At the Children's Farmer's Market children walk away with about 15 pounds of fresh local produce and big smiles on their faces, knowing they have chosen healthy foods they love and that they will contribute to feeding their families. Read more of their story here.
Below is the story of an amazing young woman who grew up from the age of 9 at the Oak Park Housing Authority in Paso Robles with a loving and hardworking mother and three siblings.
“The Food Bank distributes healthy food, which is something that really helps my family. We want to be able to take care of ourselves so we can live long healthy lives. I have family members that are diabetic and my Mom has high blood pressure. Heart problems run in our family. That is why we try to eat mostly vegetables. Without the help of the Food Bank, my family would have to choose between buying groceries and paying our bills like rent, electricity, and insurance. I’m going to college, and if everything goes well, one day I want to be one of those people who donates to help the families that are going through hard times. I have learned not to be ashamed and that it’s OK to ask for help.” -Scarlet
Scarlet is now 20 years old and works part-time at the Housing Authority to help other families. She also attends Cuesta College and aspires to attend a four year college in pursuit of becoming a juvenile probation officer. Thanks to our caring community Scarlet has become a vivacious young woman who seeks to helps others.
“Hi, my name is Dan Sallia. Back in 2012 my wife and I were both unexpectedly laid off from our jobs. This plus the fact that I had been newly diagnosed with cancer (and receiving treatment) made for a very stressful life situation. Luckily for us, the Harvest Food Pantry in Arroyo Grande was able to help us with food supplied by the Food Bank. With fresh produce, canned goods, and dairy items we were able to not only make ends meet, but I was also able to get the nutritious foods that my body needed to deal with the chemotherapy. My wife now has a new job, and I am helping at cancer support groups and volunteering with the Food Bank and Harvest Food Pantry. I'm very happy to say that we no longer need food assistance and can now focus on giving back to our wonderful community. I can personally guarantee that you are making a big difference in people’s lives. I would literally not have been able to survive without the help of the Food Bank.” -Dan Sallia
Judson Terrace is a housing complex in San Luis Obispo that provides affordable housing for seniors 62 years and older. The Food Bank distributes food directly to tenants at this housing facility through their Senior Farmers Market program, on a monthly basis since September of 2014.
Our mission is to work with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community.