Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Trisha Anderson receives food at the Albert Lea Salvation Army

Food shelf offers peace of mind for mom of five (video)

Added on Friday, March 6, 2015

The Salvation Army is known for Doing the Most Good®, but for somebody who’s not used to asking for help, a simple request for food can seem daunting.

“For so long I had so much pride,” explained Trisha Anderson, single mother of five boys. “I never thought I was down on my luck enough to need it (food shelf assistance).”

It took Anderson years of struggle to work up the courage and ask for the Army’s assistance. The truth is, with little money, even less food, and five mouths to feed, there was a day when she felt she had no other choice but to ask for help. About a year ago, she walked into The Salvation Army and walked out with enough food to replenish her kitchen cupboards. It would be the first of what has become a monthly visit (watch video).

“There were times that I struggled really hard,” she said. “The food shelf is a big, big help and I get emotional because I’m grateful. I feel blessed every day I come in here. I feel honored.” That’s a far cry from how she felt on that first day.

That first day

Initially, she thought the worst. In her mind, if she asked for help she thought she would be ridiculed and categorized. She thought other people needed more help than she did. Plus, even if she did qualify, she thought her boys probably wouldn’t like the food she would get. If only she told her mind to “never mind”–sooner.

Boxes of food at food shelf“It’s like I go grocery shopping when I come here,” Anderson beamed. “They’re (her boys) literally ecstatic to see what ‘treats’ mom brings home today. Because the food shelf gives you amazing things, things that you wouldn’t think come in a food shelf.”

Most of The Salvation Army’s food shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota offer a wide variety of breads. The bread is often given away without restrictions and Anderson is able to take as much as she needs. On this particular day she walked out with six loaves. She also walked out with two large boxes filled with all sorts of items including tuna, peanut butter and sliced turkey so the family could make sandwiches. She also received fruits, vegetables and many other things to help make a week’s worth of meals.

Trish Anderson holding box of food“It’s a great blessing,” she said. “If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army there’s many nights my kids would have gone hungry. It’s a blessing to know that I have this available to me.”

The Salvation Army offers assistance with its food shelves throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. But the success of the food shelves does not happen without your donation.

March is Minnesota FoodShare month, and if you donate online to our food programs or bring food to your local Salvation Army today, your donation will be proportionally matched thanks to the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.

Video: Trish’s Story