Why I’m Driven to Do Something About Hunger

By Nina DuPont
April 7, 2015
Volunteers Packing Food at Food Pantry

Ten years ago, I set out on my life’s path in a far-from-glamorous way: driving an old, clunky Suburban that needed a bungee cord just to keep the door shut.

My husband and I had lowered the seats in the back, loaded in boxes of food for needy families and then set out to deliver them. We didn’t have a warehouse or an official title, only recommendations from the community on those who could really use our help.

While we didn’t have a ton of resources, we’d made it our mission to find ways to assist our neighbors because at one time, we were in their shoes. A few years before, our first child was born and spent months in and out of the hospital. My husband, Michael, and I both had jobs, but caring for our daughter caused me to miss a lot of work, and so also, many hours of pay. When we realized we were short on money for medicine and diapers, we applied for all the assistance we could think of. But because we were just barely over the income limit, we were rejected.
It was a desperate point. What bills would we pay, and how would we pay them? We ran up our credit cards because we didn’t want our child to suffer. But all the while we were doing what we had to do, we told each other, this isn’t right. No family should have to go through what we did.

We got different jobs and later moved on to work for Walmart. We paid off our debts, and because we’d promised ourselves we’d do something about the problem we experienced, we decided to address it practically. We began delivering food to neighbors who had encountered the unexpected.

Today, our organization, Community Investors, is official and has grown from helping 25 families per month to assisting 865 families in Louisiana’s Acadia Parish. Now, we only deliver food on a limited basis. Instead, we serve the majority like this: Our clients line up in their cars near our building each month, and our volunteers take the boxes out to them so they don’t have to stand outside and wait in the rain, snow or heat.

Clearly I’m passionate about fighting hunger in my community, so I’m proud that Walmart is working to help people understand that this is an important issue everywhere. When customers see signs in their local stores or a TV commercial that spreads the word, it sparks the realization that hunger isn’t a problem that affects only a certain group. And hopefully, they may be inspired to donate money and food to pantries like ours.

Any help we can get is wonderful, because it enables us to do what truly drives me: better supporting those who are unable to get help elsewhere.

Community Investors’ food pantry is part of the Feeding America network. Through Walmart’s Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, customers can help drive monetary and food donations to Feeding America affiliate food banks across the country. Learn how to participate at walmart.com/fighthunger.