Ruth & Kaira

Kaira (left) and her grandmother, Ruth.

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 so she appreciates having food pantries to supplement her groceries. On this day she was visiting a mobile food pantry Southeast Missouri Food Bank provided at Advance United Methodist Church using funds from a grant through the David A. Tepper Foundation.

“With the food pantries it allows me to direct my money where I can buy more supplies and clothes for the kids. That way they can have stuff to get ready to go back to school with,” Ruth said. “Otherwise, if it wasn’t for the food pantries, I’d be buying more groceries at the store, and the kids would get less school supplies and clothes.”

Even though her granddaughter Kaira enjoyed the extended summer break, she’s ready to return to school.

“I’m looking forward to going back to school because I’m going into the fourth grade,” Kaira said.

Ruth also visited pantries while her grandchildren were home on an extended break after the pandemic closed schools.

“With school being out for as long as it has, they are home and constantly eating so we try to come to food pantries for help,” she said.

Ruth is thankful for the food that helps feed her family and for the people who provide it.

“Thank you so much, and God Bless everyone for helping us and others,” she said.

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