Feeding Hope: LaJean's Story

Millwood’s October Mobile Market was the first that LaJean had attended, but she was certainly happy for the food it provided.  She heard about the free food distribution earlier in the week from St. Margaret’s Shelter, where she lived in 2008.  LaJean decided to come to help feed her two daughters, son-in-law, and grandchild—all of whom live with her.

“This is big for my family,” she said.

LaJean has been a single mother since leaving the father of her children.  This decision left her and her daughters homeless for six months.  But LaJean says she knew that was best for her family.

LaJean now has stable housing, but basics like food are still hard to afford.  She is disabled and lives on a fixed income, with most of her money going toward rent.  The money she receives for food isn’t enough to cover fruits and vegetables for the whole family, so she was excited about the abundance of fresh produce available at the Mobile Market. 

Speaking about the food she received at the event, LaJean said, “It saves us having to buy a lot of this stuff for food.  I like buying apples, and these salads will be perfect for me and my family for a couple dinners.”

LaJean has also used Second Harvest’s Tom’s Turkey Distribution for the past several years.  “Without that, I wouldn’t be able to give my family a Thanksgiving dinner.”  She always hosts her own family, along with friends who don’t have family in the area.  She’s especially proud of her turkey, which “always falls off the bone,” thanks to a trade secret that her grandfather passed on to her—only her—about how to cook it perfectly.

Although Millwood was LaJean’s first Mobile Market, she’s used Second Harvest partner agencies for food assistance in the past. 

“I want people out there to understand that just because people come to food banks doesn’t mean they’re bad people.  We’re humans too, just like everybody else out there.  We just need a little more help than most people.”