Sharing Life: Summer Food and Fun

Maria’s Story

Maria is a student in our Healthcare Pathways program with El Centro. She works nights so she can attend classes at Sharing Life during the day. She has 2 school-aged children and is the sole earner in the family. During the school year both of Maria’s children eat breakfast and lunch at their neighborhood school, but in the summer they go hungry some days. Last summer Maria signed both children up for Sharing Life’s Summer Food and Fun program. For 12 weeks both kids received a backpack full of easy to prepare breakfast and lunch items like granola bars, peanut butter & jelly, and microwaveable soups. In addition to the food items, each backpack also included age-appropriate books and educational activities to keep their brains sharp during the school break. Maria completed her courses at Sharing Life in the fall and is now a certified phlebotomist at a local hospital.

 

Frisco Family Services: Ruth and Devin

Ruth, a senior living on a fixed income, currently has full custody of her 8-year-old grandson, Devin. Ruth loves taking care of Devin, but the added expenses of taking care of a child made it difficult to make ends meet. Ruth had to make tough choices between paying all the bills or keeping food on the table as she could no longer do both.

During the school year, Devin is a part of the 11% of Frisco ISD students who receives free and reduced lunches at school. Before Ruth started receiving services from Frisco Family Services, the summer months put a real financial strain on her food budget, having to buy more groceries to provide Devin with lunch at home every day. Last year,Ruth and Devin participated in Frisco Family Services’ Summer Lunch Program, where more than 10,000 lunches and snack packs were distributed. Not only did the Summer Lunch Program provide them with enough food to keep them healthy, but she was able to take Devin out to play with other kids his own age, make new friends and enjoy fun-filled activities.

“I was worried when I got custody of my grandson that I would not be able to give him everything that he needs,” said Ruth. “The Summer Lunch Program not only provided healthy food for Devin, but he also got to partake in fun activities and make new friends. Going to the Summer Lunch Program was something we both looked forward to going to every week!”

Brother Bills Helping Hand: The Fernandez Family

Blanca Fernandez and her three children are very involved in many of the free programs at Brother Bill’s Helping Hand (BBHH). During the summer, her two daughters, Yazmin (10) and Sophia (8), love to participate in the annual 5-day Ballet Camp. Blanca recently shared with BBHH staff about how much her girls had always wanted to take ballet lessons, but she could never find a ballet school she could afford. In addition to ballet lessons at BBHH, her daughters received the blessing of free lunches each day of camp. Blanca commented that free lunches are a huge help for her during the summer. She struggled to find a free summer lunch program before BBHH, and now she and her children look forward to summers at BBHH where she knows they will receive the critical support and services her family needs.

Dallas Morning News Charities Launches Summer Feeding Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2017

Contact:
Camille Grimes Executive Director,
Dallas Morning News Charities
214-977-7044
[email protected]

(Dallas) – Every year, thousands of low-income students in North Texas receive free- and reduced-priced lunches at public schools. For many of them, it’s the only nutritious meal they eat all day.

But in a few short weeks, the summer breaks begins. How will they get meals then?

The Dallas Morning News Charities is teaming up with six local nonprofit organizations to help fill in the gaps with its first summer fund-raising campaign. The goal is to provide 30,000 additional meals. Each meal costs approximately $1. The campaign runs May 15- June 27.

While some school districts offer free lunches at a limited number of campuses in the summer, one in four North Texas kids are still food-insecure – meaning they have limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

No child should spend the summer hungry in this community.

“For our nonprofits, and those they serve, summer represents of greatest need for meals (no school lunches), and donations (slowest donation period),” said Richard Jones, chairman of the DMN Charities. “For our first Summer Feeding Campaign, I know our readers will answer the call of giving and we will exceed our goal of providing 30,000 meals.”

The partner organizations include those that provide meals, snacks or bags of groceries.

They are: Allen Community Outreach, Brother Bill’s Helping Hand, Crossroads Community Services, Frisco Family Services, North Texas Food Bank, Sharing Life.

Let’s help them keep kids healthy this summer.

To donate or learn more about DMN Charities and the summer program, visit dmncharities.com. 100% of every donation will go to provide meals for children in need in North Texas this summer.

 

Frisco Family Services – Glimpses of Light

The Johnsons

Tom and Anna Johnson were happily married, raising four beautiful children, living the life they always dreamed they would. Then, just like that, life as they knew it, would never be the same. In 2003, Tom was diagnosed with stage 4 congestive heart failure.

Aside from his job as a loving husband and father, Tom’s new job was to fight for his life. With Anna working as an RN at a local hospital, the family was able to stay in their current renter’s home in McKinney, and put food on the table. That is until, Anna fell and hurt her ankle and knee. With limited mobility, she had to take medical leave from her job. Now, the only source of income coming in was Tom’s disability check. This was not enough money to support a family of six. They needed help.

The Johnson family, suffering from a crisis they never thought they would face, reached out to Frisco Family Services for help. In meeting with a case manager, they received the support, encouragement, and community resources they desperately needed. Visits to the Frisco’s only Community Food Pantry put food on the table. Gas cards allowed Anna to drive her kids to school, and take her husband to doctor’s appointments. Emergency Financial Assistance helped pay their electric, gas and water bills. Through Seasonal Programs, like the Thanksgiving Meal Program, they were able to sit down as a family over a meal.

“With the help of Frisco Family Services, we realized we were more than just our situation,” said Anna. “We are a family, members of a strong community, and together we can do anything.”

The Rinaldis

The Rinaldi family never thought they would have to relive the hardest time of their lives. In 2012, Linda, a wife and mother of two, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. To begin chemo therapy treatments, Linda was forced to leave her job. One year later, the family was elated to learn that Linda had gone into remission. She was able to work again part-time, and support her family. They thought their struggles were finally coming to an end.

This year, Linda’s breast cancer returned. It returned more aggressive than ever, and was diagnosed as a stage 4. The family was not ready to face another crisis. They were once again, a one-income household. Her husband’s income was not enough to support them. Medical bills began piling up, and even putting food on the table was a struggle.

The Rinaldi family turned to Frisco Family Services for assistance. In meeting with a case manager, support, encouragement, and community resources were provided. Frisco Family Services assisted with food, gas cards, rent, and seasonal programs. They were able to pay for Linda’s medical bills, and have healthy food to eat for every meal.

“I thought my battle with cancer was finally over, but when it returned so aggressively, I started to lose hope,” said Linda. “There was no way my husband and I could support two kids on just his income alone. Frisco Family Services gave us that hope back.”