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Kristine Christensen

"Running out of things constantly..."

Kristine Christensen

Kristine Christensen says her two adopted grandsons would eat around the clock if she would let them. The 53-year-old has been on disability since 2004 and is constantly running out of food items for the household. Without the assistance from her local food pantry, she states simply, "we would be hungry."

For Kristine Christensen, keeping enough food in the house to feed her two adopted grandsons is like trying to hold the ocean back with a broom.

“I’m running out of things constantly,” she said. “I’m down to one pound of hamburger and one box of macaroni and cheese. It’s really hard.”

Describing the situation as hard may be putting it mildly.

Kristine is 53-years-old and has been on disability since 2004. Her medical issues include chronic pain, fobromyalgia, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, neuralgia and neuropathy to name a few. She adopted her older grandson Landon (age 10) in 2010 and is currently in the process of adopting her younger grandson Pattson (age 5).

She receives benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), but it’s difficult to stretch that assistance to the end of the month with trying to feed two growing boys.

“Boys want to eat 24-7 if you would let them,” she said.

This is where regular visits to a Great Plains Food Bank partner agency has become a vital resource for Kristine. And having worked previously as a kitchen manager has helped her prepare meals that will last for the next day.

It all adds up to a difficult situation, but Kristine is doing what she needs to do to get by.

“I cook three meals a day and they get three snacks a day,” she said. “They eat a meat, potato and a vegetable. I don’t have much junk food in the house, period, so they do eat healthy. If I make a roast or something, then we eat sandwiches the next day.”

Despite difficult circumstances, it is important to Kristine that she gives back what she can through food drives at her grandson’s schools or doing volunteer work.

And she is extremely grateful for those who have donated to help provide needed food assistance.

“What you’re doing here is wonderful,” she said. “It’s so great that you can share with us. If it’s one bar of soap or one roll of toilet paper, every little bit helps.”

And what situation would the family be in without the support?

“We would be hungry,” Kristine concluded.

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