March to a Million Meals: From client to volunteer, bringing joy to others

Published: February 10, 2022 2:30 PM EST
Updated: February 11, 2022 9:28 AM EST

One step away from hunger.

Most families don’t have a lot of savings, and one job loss or one medical diagnosis away from needing outside help.

That’s why this month WINK News is holding our March to a Million Meals to raise money for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Anchor Lois Thome spoke with Debbie, who knows that situation all too well. Health problems and medical bills changed her life forever.

She needed help and got it; so now she’s out there every week helping others just like her.

You’ll always hear a joyful greeting from her when she’s volunteering for the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

The food feeds bellies. The joy feeds souls.

“I can tell you, if somebody comes to the beginning of the line and they’re not having a good day,” Debby said, you give me a couple of minutes with them by the time they’re at the end they’ll be laughing and joking and that makes a world of difference in peoples lives it really does.”

She knows from first-hand experience. “The first time I went to a food pantry it was horrible … I didn’t feel worthy of it, I felt like I was doing something wrong that I wasn’t a good mother that I had to ask for help to feed my kids. ”

Debbie’s been there.

“I have been diagnosed with liver cancer. I’ve been sick in the past, also the co-pays and everything it’s difficult,” she explained.

Overwhelmed by medical bills, she’s been in need like so many others.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank continues to feed a quarter of a million people each month.
Children, retirees, and working people.

Previously, Debby was a federal food inspector for the USDA, the food safety inspection service.

She worked for a government agency that provides a lot of the food she’s now handing out.

“I know people look at me and they say, oh look she doesn’t look malnourished, but there is so much more to this,” Debbie added. “Kids going to bed hungry at night our elderly is also at the greatest risk for hunger we need help we need the food pantries we really do we need to take care of our community.”

And if Debbie has her way, it will be with an extra helping of love and compassion.

This is just one of the many stories of people helping people in the Southwest Florida community.

We’re on the March, and we want you along every step of the way.

WINK News anchor Lois Thome has been reporting on the difficult times during the pandemic, none more important than hunger.

So WINK News is marching toward feeding a million people by March 1st.

Please join us throughout the month of February to raise the much-needed funds.

Less than $5 feeds a family of four.

Donate here and join us as we March to a Million Meals.March to a Million Meals