Amanda was a struggling, young, single mother just four years ago. When she looks back at that time, she does not know what would have happened to her or her baby son if it had not been for her church's food pantry. Amanda was a full-time student, trying to receive her degree so she could attend college, but needed to work part-time at a fast food restaurant too. She was having a very difficult time making ends meet when she turned to the county for assistance with her child care expenses. She was told that she made just a few dollars over the income limit and they would be unable to help her. Then, she turned to her church's food pantry for assistance.
The food pantry coordinator worked with Amanda to supply her with healthy, nutritious food on a regular basis so that her hard earned dollars could be spent on child care expenses. She also introduced Amanda to the Food Bank's Food $en$e program, our food-buying club for people looking to stretch their food dollars. In addition, Food Bank of Central New York delivered dairy, produce and other perishable foods to a nearby community-based organization where she could take advantage of our Fresh Foods Program.
Amanda was determined to stay in school, work and provide quality day care for her son. As a result of this determination and the support of her local food pantry and its caring volunteers, Amanda has graduated high school. Subsequently, she has received an associate's degree in accounting. Amanda works in the Finance Office at a small local manufacturing firm and her son will begin kindergarten in the fall.