Janel was raised to mistrust “the system” – government, banks, schools, etc. Her family lived in isolation and moved frequently throughout Nebraska and Colorado. She was homeschooled through 8th grade because her family didn’t encourage a need for education beyond that point.
At age 20, Janel had her own cleaning business and moved out on her own. The next year, she married and soon after they began a family. She grew up believing that within a marriage, her primary role would be as a supportive wife and mother. She proudly embraced her part and willingly gave up her cleaning business while her husband worked to provide for their household. As their family grew, it was harder to make ends meet on one income. Her husband also began to face health issues, which limited the hours he was able to work.
About six years ago, shortly after moving back to Colorado, Janel learned about the Food Bank. By that time, their family had grown to eight. “A friend told me the Food Bank provided fresh fruit, so I decided to give it a try.” Since that first day, Janel has been a guest of the Food Bank’s Food Share program every week.
“Growing up in such isolation and being taught to mistrust the outside world, I was very moved that there was a place that would offer this kind of help to me and my family. The quality of the food provided is amazing, we love the fresh produce, the brown rice and the whole grains. I’m so inspired by the volunteers who give their own time to help. It feels good to know my family and I are not alone and that there are people who care.”
Hope for the Future
After dedicating her adult life to raising her children, she’s starting to think about what’s next for her. Janel’s youngest child is now eight years old. Her 18-year-old will graduate in the spring with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree after attending a concurrent enrollment program through CECFC, and her 16-year-old has entered the same program this year.
“As I continue to learn, grow, and put the past behind me, I look forward to the doors God will open for me, my husband, and our children. When I think about where we are today and where my kids are going, I am so grateful to those who support the Food Bank and help provide food for my family. They truly have been the hands and feet of Jesus to me!”