Photo by Fernando Andrade, Unsplash

Written by: Anonymous

I grew up in the Capital Region as a spunky kid who loved to dance. My mother worked full time, but looking back, money was always tight.  Somehow, she made it work and I was none the wiser.  When money was especially tight, we would make a trip to the local food pantry to help make ends meet.

The people at the pantry were warm and welcoming and always let me pick out a special treat.  From my 10-year-old perspective, the trip was exciting! In addition to helping stock the shelves at home, there were opportunities to try new foods.  I always looked forward to picking my treat.

During one visit, the pantry had a fresh pineapple.  I had seen pineapples at the grocery store but knew they weren’t in our budget as we had to focus on necessities to keep our bellies full.  I had always wanted to try it, so I picked the pineapple as my special treat.  We took the pineapple home and Mom showed me how to peel, core, and cut it up.

I’ll never forget the taste of that pineapple: it was so sweet and juicy and different from anything else I’d ever eaten.  I knew the workers at the food pantry gave food away because they cared about the community. In addition to providing me with sunshine-sweet pineapple, they supported my family in a real, tangible way.

Who ever thought that a pineapple could make such a difference?

As an adult, I joined the Food Bank team.  The mission aligned with my passion for giving back to my community.  Now, I am able to help get pineapples (and other special treats) out to programs that serve children, families, adults and seniors.  I know firsthand the difference that food can make.  When I see the statistic that last year the Food Bank distributed 9.8 million pounds of fresh produce, I know families like mine are incorporating healthy fruits and vegetables into their diets.

I’ve seen the generosity of spirit from so many partners who understand that it’s about more than a loaf of bread, a pantry bag of food, or a pineapple; it’s about making a positive difference in people’s lives.