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Stories

Fighting Food Insecurity In Our Neighborhood

Jessie Chambers

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Kris Penniall has been volunteering with Bridging For Tomorrow since 2013. After serving at several special events and delivering countless bags of groceries and shoes to local schools, we discovered that Kris’ real passion is making sure that all people have enough to eat. In her words, “I am always disturbed when I read statistics about how food insecure people are in big cities like Houston or suburbs like Spring and the Woodlands. It just infuriates me. So I know whenever there’s a call to do something and food is involved, I’m going to go down that path.” 

Kris now serves as an Assistant in our Food Pantry where she keeps things organized, assists clients while they shop, and most importantly makes people feel loved. Unlike other pantries where people are forced to stand in line and then get in and out as quickly as possible, ours is a place where relationships are formed. When a member of the community visits the Food Pantry, they are welcomed by a Pantry Assistant like Kris. She spends time talking with them, listening to stories about their families, and making each of them feel like a welcomed guest.

What Kris enjoys most about her work is knowing that people are being fed. She says that the thing that makes Bridging For Tomorrow’s Food Pantry different is the level of community you experience there. When someone leaves our pantry, they walk away with food to nourish their bodies as well as their souls. Her experience has taught her how to be more compassionate, how to recognize when someone needs to talk and when someone doesn’t. She’s also seen firsthand how difficult it can be for someone who is food insecure to ask for help. Many people feel so ashamed that they can’t make it on their own, they choose to suffer silently rather than ask for help. Kris reminds clients who visit the Food Pantry that reaching out is important because we aren't meant to do it all on our own. She believes that if you help someone when they need it and treat them with dignity, they will feel empowered to do the same for others when they are able.

There’s so much starvation and food insecurity due to poverty in our area. If we don’t have people and organizations helping on a grass roots level, nothing will ever change. Something that I think about all the time is that we are all humans; that’s what binds us together. God made us all in his likeness. And when we all work together, great things happen.
— Kris Penniall, Community Builder