Dennis wasn’t sure what to expect as he nervously approached the front doors of Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes on Portage Street. He had spent the weekend wrestling with the decision to seek help with groceries having never needed to do it before, but since taking in his three young grandkids he was having a hard time making ends meet.
The woman at the front desk greeted him with a smile and listened intently as he explained that he was temporarily looking after his grandkids and, despite working full time, was in need of some help. He breathed a sigh of relief when he was asked to take a seat in the lobby to wait for someone to assist him.
Dennis was surprised to learn that he would be assigned to shop at the Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes pantry closest to his home that same day and that he could choose the foods his family needed most. “Here I thought maybe I’d get a box or two of food and be sent on my way,” Dennis shares, “But instead I was able to pick out the foods I knew my grandkids would eat and that I could make into meals and save for leftovers.”
“Asking for help wasn’t easy,” Dennis admits. “I’ve always been independent and able to stand on my own two feet, but I had to put my pride aside and make sure we had what we needed to get through the month.”
Dennis hopes his trips to KLF’s pantry are few and far between, but is grateful the service is available should a car repair or broken furnace throw a wrench in his monthly budget.
“I was shocked to learn that KLF helps an average of 700 people per day.” Dennis said. “Hearing that made me realize that there are many others in my shoes.”
Dennis is grateful he can provide a sense of security to his grandkids, and he’s thankful to live in a community that helps its neighbors thrive.