Linda’s Story

Linda was born and raised in Portageville and knows how poor her community is.

“There’s a lot of people here that need this,” Linda said of a mobile food distribution Southeast Missouri Food Bank held in Portageville recently with Reaching All In Need.

On a fixed income of less than $900 a month with increasing rent costs, Linda barely gets by. Plus, rising food prices have limited what she can buy.

“If it wasn’t for getting this food here, there would be some food I couldn’t even buy,” she said.

Others in Linda’s family also struggle. Her nephew lost his job because of the state shutdown due to COVID-19. With four children to feed, he also visits food pantries.

Although her community struggles, Linda loves Portageville and the help she and others receive.

“Giving this food away is nice. I like what I can get, and if I don’t use it, I’ll find someone else who can,” she said.

She is also thankful for the volunteers who pack the food boxes, load them into vehicles and those who direct traffic.

“They do a hard and good job,” Linda said.

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