Brenda of Cumberland County is grateful every day for what the New Hope Ministries’ food pantry (a partner agency of the Food Bank) has done for her family. A former hotel manager who filed for disability two years ago, she spent many sleepless nights worrying about how she would continue to support herself and her adult daughter, who is also disabled. Though money is still stretched thin today, New Hope played a big part in putting Brenda’s mind at ease.

“Without the Food Bank, I don’t know what I’d do.” She shakes her head and sighs. “Because there’s days where I’m thinking, ‘What am I going to make us to eat?’ It’s nice that you can come over any day and pick up something (from their market place).”

Thanksgiving may be the holiday where Brenda’s gratitude for the Food Bank shines the brightest. She stresses that without New Hope and the Food Bank, she and her daughter would go the day without a turkey— a staple most Americans take for granted.

“If I didn’t have the food and help from them for the holidays”, she explains, “it would just be like any other day. Some sandwiches or something—you know what I mean? I wouldn’t have the money to get that turkey.”

When asked to describe everything the Food Bank means to her in just one word, Brenda’s graceful demeanor goes quiet with thought. “That’s hard, to boil it down into one word. Just thankful, for everything that they’ve done.” She pauses. “I’m so grateful, and I’m blessed.”