Food Bank’s mobile pantry helps struggling grandmother feed her family

August 31, 2021

Retirement doesn’t always equate with rest, relaxation, and little responsibility. Lois, a Long Neck- area resident, retired from a career as a patient care tech at Beebe Medical Center. Now 66 years old, she has had full-time custody of three grandchildren for the past 15 months. They are ages 3, 6, and 9, so her days are busy and challenging.

She’s not complaining, though. She had to jump through a lengthy legal process to get the children out of New York state foster care after her daughter lost custody. “There were intense background checks, and I understand. It’s for the safety of the kids,” she said.

Lois was struggling to make ends meet, and even buying food presented a challenge. She has no car, and ordered from Amazon and relied on friends for rides to the store. Until . . . one day she noticed the Food Bank of Delaware’s truck in her neighborhood. “I asked my neighbor, and she said they are there all the time,” she said. And that’s how Lois happily connected to the Food Bank’s mobile pantry.

“I have been twice this summer. It’s really nice; I was able to get fresh fruit for the kids,” Lois said. Although she receives $300 a month in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) each month, she struggles. “I can still get WIC for the youngest, and that helps,” she added.

Lois is thankful that all three children are now enrolled in school, including her 3-year-old granddaughter who will attend an early childhood center, but she’s concerned about their mental wellness. “They were separated from each other for over a year, and they have trauma issues from that,” she said.

Despite the challenges, Lois is grateful that she’s a part of the children’s lives. “A lot of kids don’t have families to fight for them,” she said.

The mobile pantry that helps provide families with food visits underserved neighborhoods on scheduled and pop-up stops, providing families like Lois’s with non-perishable and fresh fruits and vegetables, as available.

Click here to learn more about our mobile pantries and our other programs.

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