Right now, I need the help.

Right now, I need the help.

Right now, I need the help.

Feeding four growing boys is hard enough. For a single mom on a limited income, it’s even harder. And when one of those sons has severe food allergies, it’s even more difficult.

Jennifer is determined to be a good provider for her boys — Zachary, Christian, Brayden, and Aiden. A veteran of the Army National Guard, Jennifer knows the meaning of hard work. She’s a full-time student, pursuing a degree in elementary education at a nearby college, where she has a 4.0 GPA. And she works part-time as a substitute teacher, trying to make ends meet.

But often, those ends don’t meet . . . and there’s not enough food for her family. They receive SNAP benefits (food stamps), but Aiden’s allergies require certain foods that are expensive. Jennifer says that once she buys Aiden’s special foods, “there is hardly any SNAP benefit left to buy food for the rest of the family.”

That’s where your support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee makes all the difference for Jennifer’s boys. While the free meals program at school provides breakfast and lunch during the school year, Second Harvest’s Lunch Express Summer Feeding Program meets their nutritional needs when school’s out.

“When they are out of school, it’s hard to keep them fed,” says Jennifer. “With the Lunch Express, I know they will at least get lunch during the summer months.”

Lunch Express uses repurposed school buses to deliver food into remote areas. When the bus pulls into their neighborhood, Jennifer’s boys “run to the window when they see it. They love eating on the bus. It always puts a smile on their faces.” You’d smile too if you could see the joy — and the practical help — that your support provides for this family . . . and many others. Not to mention the dignity. Second Harvest treats every client, from children to seniors, with the utmost care and respect. “Right now,” says Jennifer, “I need the help. And I’m not ashamed to say that.”

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