Hunger Relief: In Their Own Words

From April 23 to May 20, 2019, Walmart and SamsClub are holding their annual “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” Campaign in support of hunger relief. Now in its sixth year, the campaign has raised over $75 million for Feeding America food banks across the country.

Throughout the duration of the campaign, we’ll use this page to share portraits and first-person accounts from people who receive food at GBFB pantries and programs.

Maria & Israel from Lynn
Maria from Lynn

Mother to two-year-old son Israel. Maria gets food from the Good Hope food pantry, a GBFB-supported pantry in Lynnfield.

“The beginning of the month is the hardest. The rent is due, and all the other bills are due then, and the bills are really expensive—especially the gas. It’s hard because my husband just lost his job last month. This place helps a lot because, say I have $50 to buy food, with this I can I save those $50. It helps my son eat too. He loves the bananas and oranges. The pantry helps a lot of families in hard situations like us.”

Taylor from Fall River
Taylor from Fall River

A medical program student at Bristol Community College in Fall River. Taylor gets food from the GBFB Mobile Market located at BCC.

“You hear this saying that ‘college kids live off of ramen noodles’ but it’s kind of true. A lot of students don’t have enough money to pay for a well-balanced meal, so you’re stuck with buying little fast food quick stuff. And this Mobile Market gives you the opportunity to grab something quick and get more of a healthy variety instead of just microwaveables. Having this option for students is better, so that their health doesn’t decline, and they can actually be more focused and healthier going to classes. Balancing my part-time job and being a full-time student is pretty difficult. Finding the time and money to shop is hard. College students should get this opportunity to invest in themselves for their long-term health.”

John from Hanson
John from Hanson

Husband, retired. John gets food from the Hanson Food Pantry, GBFB-supported agency.

“I’ve been coming here on and off for probably three years. I’m retired. I used to build diesel engines for boats. I help my wife since she can’t move around much, she has some health problems. There are some months where by the middle of the month we’ve got nothing, we’re looking at a can of soup or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Things are tough, especially with the medical bills. The co-pays are just killing us. So it’s nice to be able to come here and get a few things that get us through the month. The first time I came here I was amazed at what we get and how generous people are. To go without when there’s someone there to help is crazy.”

Prischilla from Quincy
Prischilla from Quincy

Wife, homemaker, and mother, Prischilla gets food from GBFB-supported agency Quincy Community Action Program.

“Rent is my biggest burden, but I know how to cook on a budget. I don’t let anything go to waste. My two-year-old son, Gabriel, loves the Mandarin oranges and the sweet potatoes. This pantry has just been like a Godsend to me because it’s very available to me, and there’s no judgment. The people are friendly. It’s great for when I need a little extra help making ends meet.”

Carmen & Angela from LawrenceCarmen and Angelica from Lawrence
Carmen, mother of three, and her daughter Angelica, student at Northern Essex Community College, get food for their family at GBFB’s Mobile Market at NECC in Lawrence.

“There are a lot of families here who need programs like this. It’s a struggle. The rent in Lawrence keeps going up and people are struggling more. The market helps a lot because we only have one income in the house, which is my husband, and basically everything he earns goes to bills and rent. When we get this food it’s very helpful for us to have a little extra and have healthier meals.” – Carmen

“I’m majoring in elementary education and graduating this spring. I want to be a teacher. Everything here is so healthy. The fruit is great because it’s expensive at the stores. This is definitely a stress reliever.” – Angelica

Jannet, Revere
Paula from Waltham

Paula gets food from GBFB’s Mobile Market at the American Legion Nonantum Post 440 in Newton

“This market has given us so much less stress. I would struggle if not for this. My husband owned a business, but we weren’t savers. We got by OK, gave money to our kids and our grandkids, but it’s tough living on a fixed income, you’ve gotta cut back on a lot of things. It’s all so fresh and nice, everything was fresh. All the food here is so fresh and nice I couldn’t get over it my jaw hit the floor. It’s like winning the mega millions.”

Jannet, Revere
Jannet, 11, from Revere

Jannet and her mother get food from GBFB’s School-based Pantry at the Paul Revere School in Revere.

“We’re a lot of people, five people in a family and we have teenagers, so they eat a lot. Last year we came here and in the beginning of the year they said ‘oh we have this thing if you need help, you can get some food for free after school, it’s like 50 pounds of food and you don’t have to pay or nothing.’ We make baked potatoes, chicken and rice, kale smoothies—they’re healthy and delicious. We usually go to the store and buy food every week, so this helps a lot, we don’t have to buy as much.”

Virginio, Quincy
Virgino from Quincy

Virginio gets food from the Quincy Community Action Programs, a GBFB-supported food pantry.

“My wife passed away eight months ago. We were together 32 years. We had two incomes, now I only got one. I worked at a supermarket for 20 years, now I only get one check, social security. I come here and it’s great. They’re saving me money and I get food I need, eggs, milk, chicken, you know.”

Amelfis, Lawrence
Amelfis from Lawrence

Amelfis gets food from GBFB’s Mobile Market at Northern Essex Community College in Lawrence.

“I’ve been in this country for eight months. I’m studying to improve my English. I want to get a job and help my children, but it’s hard to get a job without good English. In the Dominican Republic I was a lawyer, and I want to study law here too. The food helps a lot; we need a lot of with the kids. My daughter is 7 and my son is 12. The kids like the grapes and apples and pineapples the most. It makes me happy because my kids can eat healthy.”

Hunger exists in every city in town in Eastern Massachusetts and affects people from all walks of life—from working families, to seniors, to college students. Only with the support of our donors and partners can we provide healthy food to hungry people.

Learn more about the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change” Campaign at

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2 thoughts on “Hunger Relief: In Their Own Words”

  1. I joined the North End food bank about 2 years ago. When Eve Howell worked there there were nutritious foods on offer. Now that Eve is no longer there, a man from Turkey is allowed to select the items for the food bank and there is NEVER anything fresh or nutritious. He selects loads of canned corn and other tinned vegetables. Occasionally there is some frozen chicken pieces. The frozen fish is a dsgrace. It melts away, leaving nothing to eat. There is a lot of frozen ground turkey, and occasionally, some eggs. Mainly, the North End Food Bank is a disgrace, so I rarely bother with it because there is nothing there which I can eat. I don’t eat peanut butter, generic jam, tinned vegetables or 2 lb bags of dried cherries or prunes. WHen i asked for fresh food the man said “Oh, no. That is for the lunches for the old people who live here, so you can’t have that”.

    1. Hi Fiona,

      I apologize that you are having issues. I did forward your message onto our nutrition team. We do partner with over 500 pantries in Eastern Massachusetts and there may be others near you. To view local pantries, mobile markets and programs, please visit: You can enter your zip code to find resources near you.

      Thank you,

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