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You can’t prepare for the unexpected. That’s how Yvonne found herself at a local food pantry.

You can’t prepare for the unexpected. That’s how Yvonne found herself at a local food pantry.

“For anyone, at any time, things can go wrong. We lost our business and we struggled to pay our bills, and then everything started to crumble. But you have to keep it together for the family. They have to see that you are strong, so they stay strong.”

Unfortunately, Yvonne’s struggles went deeper than lost income and missed bills.

“My son started in with trouble – with drugs and gangs, and nothing is more important to me than my son. So even though we were in trouble, I quit my job to help him get out of the gangs and off drugs. It was the food pantries that allowed me to save my son.

“And it worked. Today, my son is married with his own family. He owns his own house and is a happy and valued member of society.”

Approximately 70% of those who visit food pantries only go a few times a year. It’s a way to fill the gaps through a difficult time. That’s why even a little help can make a huge impact.

“Without the food pantries, we would have lost my son. So now, I give back. I volunteer at the pantries and help any way I can, unloading trucks, praying with people. And that’s what people need. I know what that’s like, and I can do something about it. So, I do.”

We can all do something about it.

Dole Packaged Foods is committed to lifting others up by stocking food bank shelves. Each year, we donate over 1 million pounds of healthy fruits, getting solid nutrition in the hands of those who need it most.

We invite you to get involved. Find your local food bank at feedingamerica.org and reach out to see how you can make the biggest impact – whether it’s donating food, time or money.

Because if we all work together, we can let sunshine in. And drive hunger out.

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