Edgar’s Story

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation, it’s leaving a trail of unemployed people who are struggling to feed their families. 

Edgar, from Jackon, is one of the millions of people who lost jobs because of COVID-19. He had worked as a laborer on a pig farm, tending to the animals and doing daily chores. Now, he’s out of work and needs food for his wife and children. 

“I tried to find another job, but now it’s very hard you know,” Edgar said. 

He visits mobile food pantries provided by Southeast Missouri Food Bank and community partners. In addition to receiving food, Edgar and his wife also volunteer to help at the pantries.  

“We have to just keep calm and help when we can do that,” he said. “You see too many cars coming for food and drink. I think it’s a very good help for the people. The people need it.” 

Right now, he is unsure of when he will be able to return to work. 

“I don’t know. Maybe a month or two months. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, you know,” Edgar said. 

He sees firsthand the important role the pantries play in helping unemployed families and is grateful for the much-needed assistance  

“Just want to say thank you for your help. These kinds of events help too many people, so God bless you,” Edgar said.  

SEMO Food Bank through its pantries and partners has increased the amount of food being distributed in its 16-county service area. Because retail food donations are down, the food bank is having to purchase more food, which stretches its already limited resources. To help families like Edgar’s donate today at semofoodbank.org. 

Other Stories

The Stigma of Visiting Food Pantries

Mother Gloria and daughter Summer know the stigma that can accompany visiting a pantry. But when it comes to feeding your family, you have to swallow your pride. “At first, I was like, I don’t need to go there. We’re fine. We’ll make it,” Gloria said recalling her first pantry visit. “I’ve learned since that…
Read More

Donate, Don’t Throw Away

Tyler Kemplin got into personal training and nutrition after his mother and a close friend both passedaway due to health issues. He posted some photos of his meal prepping on social media, and peoplebegan asking about purchasing meals from him. In an instant, Pulse Fitness & Nutrition in CapeGirardeau was formed. “I wanted to help…
Read More

When SSI Isn’t Enough

With as much as Linda paid in to Social Security over her lifetime, she thought she would receive back more in benefits when she reached retirement. “I get Social Security but it’s small, and I have a hard time getting by. I’m low-income, and I need help with food,” she said, adding that she visits…
Read More

Ruth & Kaira

The return to school means buying school supplies and clothing, expenses that can be hard for families to manage – especially if they have multiple children. Ruth, from Advance, understands that challenge all too well as she is raising three grandchildren by herself. Preparing them for returning to school put a dent in Ruth’s wallet…
Read More

Joyce’s Story

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many people are struggling more than ever to make ends meet and some are forced to choose between eating or paying bills. On a bright Saturday morning at Bread Shed, a food pantry in Poplar Bluff, more than 200 people wait patiently to get food provided through Southeast Missouri…
Read More

Food Insecurity in New Madrid County

Imagine 2,310 adults standing in a line. Now add another 1,030 or so children. Those 3,340 people represent food insecurity in New Madrid County. With a county population of only 17,810, New Madrid County has a 19 percent overall food-insecurity rate and a 24.6 percent child food-insecurity rate. This compares to Missouri’s rate of 13…
Read More