Stories that Inspire.

Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.

Victories to Celebrate.



Nearly 70 years ago when Annie was just 9, she would wake up early, walk into town — rain, snow or shine — and peel potatoes at a local restaurant.

“They would give me a meal and something to take home to my mom,” she said. Annie’s mom was a hardworking waitress, but there often was not much food in the house. She spent her childhood living both with her mom and — when her mom was struggling — in Minnesota with her grandparents.

When she married her husband of 62 years at age 16, Annie again faced hunger. The mines that residents relied on for work had shut down, so the couple lived off of government surplus commodities such as cheese and canned goods.

The family appreciated these items, especially when they had small children, but Annie recalled, “We could never buy oranges or apples and fresh fruit.” Now, Annie helps children and families in need access fresh produce no matter their situation. She volunteers at a pantry in our network that provides plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy, bakery goods, and more to our neighbors.

COVID-19 has impacted us in many ways – loss of employment, restrictions on travel, closed businesses.

Annie volunteers regularly, connecting neighbors with food and other essentials. Often, she said, these neighbors preferred to “suffer in silence” rather than ask for help. She encouraged them to move past this “pride” and take what they need — and share any extras with others.

Annie remains friends with many of the pantry recipients and is eager to chat whenever she sees them. She knows many of the families who go through the pantry line. “They seem to be almost amazed that this program is here for them at such a time when the rest of the country seems so chaotic,” Annie said.

Thank you Annie for all your work and compassion for others in need.

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