“I don’t ever want to turn anyone away:” Federalsburg store owner helping to feed community
FEDERALSBURG, Md. – With every can and box of food, Lavonne Massey, is trying to be the light in people’s lives. She owns the Walking With Faith Thrift Store in Federalsburg and wants people to know if they need food she’s got their back.
“Sometimes I’ve been in here with customers and other people that have come in here for food and I’ve cried, we’ve cried together because I’ve seen their pain and I feel their pain,” LaVonne Massey, owner of Walking With Faith Thrift Store, said.
Massey said she’s been giving away free food for years, but the pandemic has made things even more stressful for Delmarva families; and with government aid slowing down, Massey said the need for food is only rising.
“I noticed that at the first of the month, we will get 10 to 15 people for food and we are getting ready to get to the first of the month again,” Massey said.
But, feeding a hungry community isn’t easy or cheap, and when food donations are low Massey reaches into her own wallet.
“We’ll get what we need to keep some stuff here, cause I don’t ever want to turn anyone away either, I think that would tear me up,” Massey said.
And Massey isn’t the only good samaritan on Delmarva to keep everyone fed, the Maryland Food Bank on the Eastern Shore said they are no stranger to seeing hungry families as well.
“Maryland families that are especially in lower and middle-income classes have lost these vital financial supports just as inflation is causing costs to rise,” Jennifer Small, Senior Regional Program Director and with TEFAP, said.
And this year, they said the support they get from their Delmarva donors is even more crucial.
“We have got to have continued support because as a result of the loss of these benefits we are expecting the demand for food assistance to intensify,” Small said.