Childhood trauma linked to ongoing challenges for this mom

September 16, 2021

Like many of our neighbors who need assistance from the Food Bank of Delaware, Mary – not her real name — struggles with a complex bundle of problems on a daily basis. And these issues – couple with lack of resources and support — have haunted her most of her life, only the faces or the location has changed.

Mary, who is in her 30s,  deals with debilitating anxiety, a mental health condition she attributes to the abuse – physical, mental and sexual — she experienced as a child. “In my teens, I was raped numerous times,” she said. She is unable to work, and she can’t drive.

This Pennsylvania native, a mother of three school-aged daughters, moved to Delaware for a fresh start. Although she says “I’m currently doing a lot better,” she’s dealing with other challenges: her aging parents with whom she lives with have serious health issues.

“There have been times when I cooked, and there wasn’t enough to eat for me,” she said. “Or we had the same thing every night, due to that was all we had to eat.” Like most of us, Mary admits some reluctance – a bit of fear – before she sought help.  Thanks to social media, specifically Facebook, Mary learned about the Food Bank of Delaware.

She found that Food Bank offers help for food-insecure Delawareans, and because she has no transportation and is unable to drive to our Healthy Pantry in Newark or even a nearby food distribution, Mary is able to participate in a new program in which we deliver to people’s homes, and she appreciates the fact that deliveries are discreet and confidential.  For her, this service has eliminated a stigma she thought might be linked to getting assistance.  She encourages those who are hesitant to reach out.   “. . . know that the help is there, and don’t be worried to reach out and ask for it. It has been a huge help to me and my children,” she said.

“Every Wednesday, I get a box delivered to my door, and the things in the box, no one knows that. I am getting the help, so it makes me feel good that a big truck isn’t pulling up saying feed the hungry,” Mary added.

And she loves how the food benefits her daughters as well. “The stuff I get in the boxes has helped me with my children to be able to get that extra help that some people may be scared to get. Trust me, I was that one that was always scared to get help because I thought people would like at me differently. The food boxes help so much, and my kids love it. There are such different things in boxes, so you never know what you are getting. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Mary said.

Visit to learn more about how the Food Bank of Delaware can help and also how you can help the Food Bank of Delaware assist our neighbors.

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