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Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Story of Strength: Maribel Bermudez

Maribel Bermudez understands what it’s like to need help. When her former employer decided to downsize, she suddenly found herself heading home to tell her family she no longer had a job. Her husband was employed, but his salary wasn’t enough to cover all of their monthly expenses. How would they choose between housing, groceries, transportation, medicine, and, of course, the unexpected costs of raising kids?

Fortunately, they qualified for the federal safety net known as SNAP (formerly food stamps). For a short but challenging six months, SNAP helped the Bermudez family keep food on the table, giving them some breathing room for their other bills.

This experience changed Maribel. As a mom, Maribel had taken her son to a playgroup at The Village. Her passion for children was so apparent that she was hired on as staff. Now, her mission has become "to build a community of strong, healthy families who protect and nurture children" through the Burns Family Resource Center of The Village, a Foodshare community partner.

At food pantries in three local schools, visitors can choose the food they need so it fits their dietary needs and so they are more likely to ask for help when they need it. When school is closed, hunger hits even harder. So, every week, Burns sends 35 children home with weekend backpacks filled with healthy food.

With people like Maribel doing everything she can for the community, we know our children, and all our neighbors, are in good hands. Hunger is big, but the Foodshare community is bigger. Maribel Bermudez is a testament to the power of this community – and she is making the difference between hungry and healthy every day.


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