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Feeding Families, Fostering Faith

Field Report by Lauryn Vickers

NORTH CAROLINA – Mary never lets sorrow have the final word. This 62-year-old widow lost her husband 11 years ago to cancer. Despite the pain, she decided to channel her energy into the community and began fostering children shortly after he passed. She has since fostered 60 children, two of whom live with her now. Mary took the heartache of a major loss and turned it into love that is multiplied with each child she’s fostered.

“Once I got them, I kept them until they were eighteen or twenty,” Mary explained. “I helped them get into apartments and find jobs. If you’re going to be a foster mom, you have to put your whole heart and soul into it.” 

COVID-19 Caused Hunger

But when the pandemic hit, Mary faced brand new challenges, including hunger caused by COVID-19. Her income remained the same. But like so many, she suddenly needed to homeschool her 16-year-old and 10-year-old foster daughters. On top of that, she needed to keep them fed without supplemental school meals, which they’d lost due to coronavirus and the shelter in place initiatives that occurred all across the United States. Mary hadn’t planned for these extra food expenses, and they’ve caused a strain on her finances.

Food Prices Up Because Of COVID-19

“I usually go to the store early because they sell out of everything so fast, and they’ve raised the prices on everything! It’s very expensive,” Mary said. “I make sure the kids are taken care of, but this has taken a big chunk out of my savings.”

Thankfully, your gift showed up in Mary’s life just at the right time! Operation Blessing partner New Calvary Missionary Church just down the road was providing groceries to local families in need. Mary heard of the distribution and knew it was the blessing she needed. She visited their drive-through service and her car was loaded up with groceries to sustain her children during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Battling Hunger Caused By COVID-19

Dr. Bonzia Caison, pastor of New Calvary Missionary Church, has been feeding residents of Elizabeth City, N.C., for years. She has witnessed how her church’s partnership with Operation Blessing has richly blessed the community during this trying time when COVID-19 caused hunger and great hardship.

“There are so many people who are suffering,” Dr. Caison said. “This feeding ministry is a part of our missionary work. Jesus said, ‘When I was hungry, you fed me.’ We’re all servants.”

hunger issues caused by covid-19

Your Generosity Is Fighting Hunger Caused By COVID-19

Thank you for your generosity! Your gift is multiplied in blessing struggling single mothers like Mary, as well as men and women all over the world. Your kindness is felt through every meal Mary and her girls will enjoy for days to come.

Mary said, “I want to say thank you, and that they are a blessing, and I hope and pray that they will continue to be a blessing to the families that really need it. God is going to bless them for being a blessing!”

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