Our Program Stories

November 01, 2016 | United Way Team

Below are stories from programs that provide support to those who struggle with hunger.

Together we can Stop the Growl!

Horizons Summer Meals: Nutritious Food for Local Kids

“The first day I volunteered, a little boy about two-years-old came in with his mom and sister. We handed him an apple, and he gave it a funny look. His mom told us he had never had an apple before. She took a bite out of it and handed it to him to try. He licked the spot where the bite was taken and got a huge smile on his face. He licked that same spot a few more times and said, “Good!” Brought tears to my eyes.”

Horizons Meals on Wheels: Food Security for Our Seniors

During a meal delivery, a Meals on Wheels volunteer discovered that William Anderson, a senior resident of Cedar Rapids, had fallen on the stairs at the entry of his home. With the assistance of Meals on Wheels, Mr. Anderson was able to get inside and contact his son for further assistance. By providing face-to-face contact on a daily basis, Meals on Wheels helped Mr. Anderson in a timely manner in addition to increasing his access to nutritious food.

HACAP Operation Backpack: Helping Kids Be at their Best

Omarion is an eight-year-old enrolled at Taylor Elementary in Cedar Rapids. He and his four siblings live with their grandmother, who worked two jobs to support her grandkids. When she fell ill and could no longer work, Omarion enrolled in Operation Backpack at Taylor Elementary, a program through HACAP’s Food Reservoir. Now, Omarion takes a backpack full of nutritious food home every Friday that lasts the entire weekend. Omarion said, “We get healthy food for our stomachs so we can be happy and proud of our grandma.” (Read more here.)

HACAP Mobile Food Pantry: Access for Neighborhoods

A single mother in the Westdale neighborhood in Cedar Rapids explains, “I try to make balanced meals, but I don’t have that kind of money.” Her neighborhood has no access to free food resources. This becomes an issue for families once their SNAP benefits run out.

HACAP’s Mobile Food Pantry makes it possible for families to easily find food resources within their own neighborhoods. On August 19, the mobile food pantry visited Ladd Library in the Westdale neighborhood and opened its doors with plenty of nutritious food to provide well-balanced meals. They served 68 households, 244 individuals, and distributed 2,890 pounds of food.

“One individual who attended the mobile pantry spoke Spanish and arrived right as we were closing the mobile pantry. The HACAP Mobile Pantry team noticed that we only had a little bit of food left and wanted to make sure we provided more fresh produce and a variety food to this person. We worked with an interpreter and arranged for a volunteer to drive back to the food reservoir and drop additional food to this person.”

Give. Volunteer. Advocate. Stop the Growl.

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