At Food Bank, we are proud to be a grant recipient of the Grubhub Community Fund, which provides resources to organizations like ours to empower and support our neighbors. This Hunger Action Month, Grubhub has taken its partnership a step further by sponsoring our “Together We Rise” series, which features stories of resilience and strength from the folks who power our mission every day.
Annie Poon is one of the newest members of our Food Bank family. She began supporting our mission at the height of COVID-19 and later became a monthly donor when she saw just how far her support could go.
Read her story below and learn all about her commitment to fighting for the needs of children in her community.
What is your hunger story – in other words, your connection or experience with food insecurity?
I left my first college before completing my education. I abruptly entered the elusive job search without the support of my parents or family. The local pet store accepted my application, but I was only making $4.15 an hour. Over time, my boss started giving me less and less hours. Finally, one day, the company scheduled a meeting for all the staff at my supervisor’s home. I didn’t have a car and the only way to get to the meeting was to take two long bus rides with a long walk on both ends, I arrived at the meeting when it had just wrapped up. My boss fired me the next day and I suddenly couldn’t afford the rent on my apartment anymore.
I grew alfalfa sprouts in the refrigerator and purchased cheap cheese slices to put on my sandwiches. One day I asked my roommates if they wanted to trade some food with me. They laughed at me and said they knew there was no food in my cabinet. This is my story of food insecurity. It was short lived, but I learned a lot about what it feels like to go without food and resources. When I was a little more financially secure, I determined that I could make a small monthly donation to Food Bank so that a few less children in my community would go hungry each month.
What keeps you motivated when times get tough?
When times get tough, I take out my pencil and write in my thick white journal. It is a simple pleasure, free but satisfying. The ability to write in my journal gives me joy. It is a friend to me. I also love to write down the inspiring words I hear when I pray.
What compelled you to become a Food Bank supporter?
I have never met any of the staff of Food Bank personally, but I have read the materials sent to me and realized that I wanted to be in this community that the Food Bank has created. I became even more motivated to give when I learned that a dollar can provide several meals for neighbors in my community. I imagine my dollar traveling through the city — through the blocks and past high rises — into the hands that prepare food for my fellow New Yorkers. Visualizing that little dollar going to those who need it most creates a beautiful image in my heart.
As inflation drives food, rent, and gas prices higher across the city, how are you staying hopeful?
As inflation drives food, rent, and gas prices higher across the city, I stay hopeful by changing my diet to less expensive foods, but preparing them with love and joy. I have recently started saying a prayer of thanks each and every day that I have daily bread to eat and a roof over my head. I feel lucky for this daily miracle no matter what I am eating.
What do you rise for?
I rise for children.
Food Bank For New York City’s “Together We Rise” series is presented by Grubhub, our Hunger Action Month partner whose immense generosity is enabling us to continue the work of feeding and nourishing ALL New Yorkers in these challenging times.
Post Topic(s): TOGETHER WE RISE