Seven-thousand. That’s the number of calls we get every year to our Food Stamp Hotline, which allows us to help people apply for food assistance and other public benefits by phone.
With that kind of call volume, every single member of our small, but dedicated, staff is trained to answer the hotline. We hear from fathers who’ve lost their jobs and worry about feeding their kids; families whose savings were wiped out by a medical emergency; and seniors in their 80s applying for food assistance for the first time in their lives.
But last week, we received a phone message that none of us had ever had to handle:
“Hi. I-I need food,” the message began. “Because there’s no food in the house.”
It was a child’s voice. “My name is Shania, and I need food. I’m 8 years old. Could you please bring me some food and leave it at my door? Thank you.”
Although our staff regularly helps callers in difficult situations, this one stood out. Shania’s message was a reminder of how much is at stake when a family can’t put food on the table.
Thankfully, our staff was able to contact Shania’s grandmother and provide her family with food stamp assistance as well as referrals to several local food pantries.
Every day, the stories of the fathers, mothers, grandparents and, sometimes, children who call our hotline are what motivate us to continue our fight against hunger.
But it’s the support of people like you that make our work possible.
Thank you, as always, for your commitment to fighting hunger in our community.
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