Food banks offer more than the ability to put food on the table. For many, they offer freedom and security. Contemplating leaving an abusive relationship is one of the toughest things one can do, but knowing you will have the ability to provide for your children and ensure they won’t go hungry once you leave can offer an enormous sense of wellbeing.
Just three short years ago, Stephanie made the decision to leave her abusive partner and start a new life with her two teenage daughters. Unable to work due to the trauma she experienced, she was forced to survive on the limited income provided by the Ontario Disability Support Program, which left her with little money for food once rent and bills were paid.
That’s when she turned to the food bank for support. “A friend introduced me to the food bank as I was really struggling to make ends meet,” says Stephanie. “I slept much better knowing there would be food on the table and I could focus on other things. I also slept better knowing I wouldn’t have to go back to my old way of life to provide for my children.”
Taking the initial step and accessing a food bank wasn’t easy for Stephanie. “The first time I went to the food bank, I sat in my car praying for a long time, but I knew I needed to do it for my kids. I was terrified! When I finally went in, the volunteers and staff showed me the whole process. They were so kind, I will be forever grateful.”
Now working as a medical receptionist, Stephanie has come a long way from that first visit to the food bank. She wants to share her story in the hopes that those in similar situations can see that taking that first step is difficult, but it can be transformative. “It’s humbling, but once you realize how much they help get you on your feet, it’s life changing. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have that support.”
To support Daily Bread and ensure your neighbours like Stephanie and her children have access to nutritious food, please donate here.