EAST MOLINE, Illinois – Hundreds of people lined up outside the John Deere Harvester Works for the River Bend Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry.
For Jacqualine Meraz and her family, this is their first time attending. They decided to give it a go – laundry basket in hand.
“We got here at 9:15 and there was already a line, so we’ve been here not quite an hour yet,” Meraz calculates.
Meraz is a stay-at-home mom. She says childcare is just too expensive, so she brought her son along who can be easily entertained by playing “peek-a-boo” with the laundry basket.
“I’ve got two kids a husband another one on the way and it’s getting into that time of the year you know fall when things kind of start to slow down and things start to get expensive. You know energy bill goes up,” says Meraz.
She will do whatever she can to keep costs down.
“It’s always a little nerve-racking because you’re always wondering if this is going to be enough, how long is this going to take and trying to plan when you have little ones,” Meraz comments.
Diane Erickson, Programs Director for River Bend Foodbank, believes today’s mobile pantry is needed now.
“Getting ready for the holidays this is so needed. We have over 200 families here today, and that just tells us that we are right in the location that we need to be,” Erickson says.
That’s why Meraz is here – to save for Christmas and her son’s birthday also coming up in December.
And each food item will help feed their family in the coming months as they continue to push on.
“It’s a lot of food and it’s definitely going to help out. I can already see several meals that we can plan,” Meraz says optimistically.