“We’ll take everything. We love fruits and vegetables.”

A moment later, a volunteer was filling Austin’s bag with fresh produce—pears, onions, celery, watermelon and more. It was the end of the month—when Austin and his family typically need a little more food than they can afford.

Like many, Austin uses a food pantry, the Medical Lake Food Bank, to help fill gaps in his family’s grocery budget. He and his wife have three mouths to feed besides theirs, and their incomes don’t always cut it. Austin’s wife is a pre-school teacher, and Austin, a former Apple employee, works at a production company seasonally. His family uses the food pantry more frequently in the colder months, when Austin isn’t working and stays home to take care of his kids.

The food pantry helps Austin and his wife stretch their budget—and ensures they have healthy food on hand. “We love the fresh veggies. Several times we’ve gotten meat that we’ve saved in the freezer, and we hardly ever have to buy bread.”

“We’ll take everything. We love fruits and vegetables.”

Austin also appreciates that the food pantry always has something unique to give them, such as a pie or locally roasted coffee. “I imagine going to a food bank and getting canned and dried food,” said Austin. “Getting fresh veggies and some meat totally makes it worth it and a better experience.”

With hopes to one day be a high school teacher, Austin plans to get a Master’s degree in teaching in the near future. But for now, Austin and his family can turn to the food pantry for a little extra food and the peace of mind that there’s somewhere to go to get them through a tough time.

Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho
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