Retired Teachers, Nurses, Families in Need: You’ve Helped Feed Them All in Tough Times

Since 1999, GreaterGood has been working to create easy ways for changemakers like you to make an impact, both in local communities and around the globe. In that time, we’ve raised more than $75 million dollars for a wide variety of charitable causes that provide aid to people, pets, and our beautiful planet.

Through shopping, daily free clicks, donations, and more, we’ve worked together to change the world one click at a time! And we can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate your support! Thank you for helping us reach this important milestone of $75 million raised for charity! Read on to learn more about one of the many ways you’ve helped us give where it matters.


Feeding Families Impacted Financially by COVID-19

As the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people found themselves temporarily out of work due to closures of non-essential businesses. As the health crisis continued, so did a high demand for food pantries. While many people are in need of food assistance at all times, Feeding America notes that about 4 in 10 people who visited a food bank in the early days of the pandemic were doing so for the first time.

PHOTO: LOWCOUNTRY FOOD BANK

That’s why Greater Good Charities launched the Feed Thy Neighbor initiative, which helped support food pantries across the nation. Half of the money raised – more than $324,000 – went to Feeding America to help them further their mission to feed those in need. The rest was awarded as grants to food banks across the country that were being swamped with pandemic demand. Overall, more than 32 million meals were distributed to families, seniors, frontline medical workers, people experiencing homelessness, those without jobs, and those suffering from other aspects of the pandemic.

Frontline Workers

Among those helped was Marilynn, a registered nurse who reported for duty throughout the pandemic in Louisiana. As she worked to save lives, a New Year’s Eve shift ended up changing her life forever. She contracted COVID-19 and unwittingly gave it to her husband of 41 years. After a long battle with the virus, her husband died. Between the emotional and financial impacts of his death, Marilynn suddenly found herself in need of help. That’s when she went to Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans and Greater Acadiana, which benefitted from a $20,000 grant.

She said at the time, “This is not where I thought I would see myself. I was leery at first to get help and waited a little while before seeking help.”

MARILYNN. PHOTO: JAY VISE/SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK OF NEW ORLEANS AND GREATER ACADIANA

She added that she was very grateful for all those whose donations helped her in her time of need.

Retired Teachers

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley in Pharr, Texas, was able to help feed thousands of families thanks in part to the $20,000 grant they received from the Feed Thy Neighbor initiative. The food bank, which saw their operational expenses increase by 18% due to the pandemic, offers food pickup at their location, as well as a food delivery service to rural and underserved areas.

While their community faced pandemic-related difficulties, the organization was able to distribute 5,000 emergency food bags to 5,000 families through its drive thru emergency pantries. Among those who benefitted from the food bank’s services was a retired teacher.

Juanita Aparicio worked in education for 43 years but is now a retiree on a fixed income. She tries to eat healthy and puts together salads regularly to achieve that goal. Attending the food distributions helps her get fresh vegetables for salads, as well as some protein. However, the main reason she continues to stop by is to share food with her elderly neighbors.

JUANITA. PHOTO: ROSIE MARTINEZ

She explains, “Without these distributions lots of people — children and the elderly – would go hungry. It helps a lot of people in our small town. We are blessed that the food bank is here because it is so desperately needed.”

A Mother Dealing with Mounting Health Issues

Another pantry that saw more residents with food insecurity in 2020 was the Utah Food Bank, which needed extra help with operating costs. A $25,000 grant allowed them to provide the equivalent of 103,542 meals to Salt Lake City area residents. That was enough to feed 2,465 Utahans for two weeks.

Lily, a mother of three, has found herself going to the food bank of late due to a slew of health issues. She lives with adult-onset diabetes, and a stroke left her unable to see out of her left eye. This makes it hard for her to find work. Due to her high-risk status for severe COVID-19 illness, she said the organization’s mobile pantry was one of the only places she was willing to risk her health to visit.

PHOTO: HEIDI CANNELLA

Lily said, “This is a huge help. This food has blessed the lives of so many. I am so glad that none of this produce is going to waste. We even freeze some of the food, or can it, so that we can make it last even longer. If I had a million dollars I would make sure this program always continues. Thank you so much. Please keep it up.”

Seventeen other food banks received grants through the Feed Thy Neighbor program. All have countless similar stories. Thanks to you, so many had a full belly during one of the roughest times our nation has experienced.


Want to know more about all the ways we’re supporting causes you care about? Learn more here.


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