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Katie thought hunger only happened to certain people. Until it happened to her.

Katie thought hunger only happened to certain people. Until it happened to her.

“About six years ago, I found myself a single parent. I had an extra mouth to feed and I can remember having an issue with the idea of showing up at a food pantry to get food. I had a stereotypical idea of what types of people would go to one of these. But I didn’t have a choice. There was nothing to eat in the house and there was no money to buy food.”

Food insecurity doesn’t discriminate. In fact, it affects 1 in 10 working adults in the US today.

“The moment I entered the food pantry, I felt really comfortable. The people on the other side of the counter that were handing out food were phenomenal. They were so welcoming and I wasn’t judged. No one made it difficult at all.”

For Katie, fighting food insecurity starts with breaking the stigma.

“What is dear to my heart is to tell those that are food insecure that there is a place that they can go to. Because we need to eat, and we need to be healthy so that we can move forward and be more successful in our lives.

“Also, for those who are food secure: there is an opportunity to support those in need. Don’t expect it to be a certain type of person. Don’t expect them to ‘look the part.’”

Success in fighting food insecurity happens one person, one family at a time. And for Katie, it involves sharing her story and lifting others up.

Here at Dole Packaged Foods, we support those in need through volunteerism and food donations. In fact, we donate over 1 million pounds of fresh, healthy fruits to food banks every year.

If you’re in need, or willing to help, find your local food bank at feedingamerica.org. You can always donate some food, some time, or contact them to see how you can make the biggest impact.

Together, we can let sunshine in. And drive hunger out.

*Out of respect for privacy, we’ve changed names and faces in this article.