Janet was raised to mistrust “the system” – government, banks, schools, etc. Her family lived in isolation and moved frequently. She was homeschooled through eighth grade because her family did not encourage a need for education beyond that point.
At age 20, Janet had her own cleaning business and moved out on her own. The next year, she married and soon after they began a family. She grew up believing that within a marriage, her primary role would be as a supportive wife and mother. She proudly embraced her part and willingly gave up her cleaning business while her husband worked to provide for their household. As their family grew, it was harder to make ends meet on one income. Her husband also began to face health issues, which limited the hours he was able to work.
Last year, Janet learned about the Valley Food Bank. By that time, their family had grown to eight. “A friend told me the Valley Food Bank provided fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, and bakery goods, so I decided to give it a try,” she said. Since that first day, Janet has been a guest of the Food Bank’s pantry network program every week.
“Growing up in such isolation and being taught to mistrust the outside world, I was very moved that there was a place that would offer this kind of help to me and my family. The quality of the food provided is amazing. We love the fresh produce, the brown rice, and the whole grains. I am so inspired by the volunteers who give their own time to help. It feels good to know my family and I are not alone and that there are people who care.”
After dedicating her adult life to raising her children, she is starting to think about what is next for her. Janet’s youngest child is now 8 years old. Her 18-year-old will graduate in the spring with a high school diploma and will go off to college.
“As I continue to learn, grow, and put the past behind me, I look forward to the doors God will open for me, my husband, and our children. When I think about where we are today and where my kids are going, I am so grateful to those who support the Food Bank and help provide food for my family. They truly have been the hands and feet of Jesus to me!”