Starbucks is Donating Food for Needy Families – Our Family Says Thank-You!

Starbucks just announced their plan to give away extra food to people in need.

I have a large family (7 children – 5 internationally adopted).

Not too long ago my family lived off of food that grocery stores were giving away. This included recently expired food that was still edible.

We once owned a successful entertainment company that lost business due to the 2008 economic crisis. By 2010, we had burned through our savings. We were facing foreclosure and bankruptcy. My kids qualified for Medicaid and school lunches. We needed support for our weekly food needs and didn’t know where to turn.

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My husband worked two jobs but it wasn’t enough. We paid the utility bills, phone bills, gas for the cars but ignored the credit card bills. We also couldn’t pay the mortgage. We weren’t proud of this. In fact we were devastated and highly stressed by our financial state. We bought the basics for food but needed more.

So, for 2 and a half years (from late 2010-early 2013) we lived off of food that grocery stores were throwing out, leftovers from potlucks and the least expensive food we could find. You never would have guessed that we were struggling during this time. We were afraid to ask for help and were cautious to share our circumstances with others. We volunteered for church functions with meals and prayed for a miracle. The free food was a miracle to us.

We are so grateful to hear what Starbucks is doing in donating 100% of their unused food to the needy. We know the pain, embarrassment and shame of having to ask for free food. Oftentimes, we were  turned away from stores due to government regulations on food suppliers who wanted to donate but needed to stay compliant with federal regulations. They threw the food in the dumpsters rather than giving it to us.

My family was fortunate to experience a financial turnaround. The social worker explained to us while we were adamantly refusing Medicaid, that social services was also for people like us that just hit a rough season in life. We had never asked  for help in the past and spent most of our lives making excellent income and supporting others who needed the help. Welfare helped us too while we figured out ways to find new income opportunities. In 2013, I started working for an incredible super foods company ( ironic isn’t it?). I now make a sizable income as a leader with a nutritional company. Food is my passion. Feeding others in need is my passion now.  I know how essential it is.  I am eternally grateful for the donated food that helped us to get by during a dark season in our lives. I am deeply concerned  that poverty and hunger in the US and abroad remains a substantial problem. People do go to bed every night hungry and worried about where to get their next meal. It is real!!!

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Thank you Starbucks for seeing the need and being the solution. We are excited to partner with you in any way we can in helping to combat hunger around the world. Thanks for delivering on your corporate motto that emphasizes dignity and respect to others regardless of their economic situation. My family will enjoy our Starbucks coffee, lattes and frappuccinos much more knowing that you really care about families like ours.

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Deanna Falchook is a mom, author and entrepreneur.  She is passionate about adoption, authentic leadership, nutrition and helping to create healthy and prosperous forever families.

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