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Ensuring food security during a time of uncertainty 🏠💜

The household pantry at Amethyst Place has long been an important support for families, providing food, diapers and wipes, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items at no cost to residents and graduates. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has swept Kansas City, the household pantry has become even more of a fixture in the Amethyst Place community.

"When the pandemic required stay-at-home orders and many people got hours cut or lost jobs, they were asking to visit the pantry more often," says Mandy Caruso-Yahne, the Amethyst Place Volunteer Manager who operates the pantry. "We've seen more AP families come to the pantry and we've seen frequency go up on almost all of them. Many families are here every week when they used to come once a month." Visits to the pantry increased by 40% in March.
Amethyst Place has always depended on partnerships and donations to stock the pantry. Harvesters, Giving the Basics, and Happy Bottoms provide regular supplies, and the community's gifts of groceries supplement the need. In the past several weeks, prepared meals and groceries have arrived at our doors from generous groups like Church of the Resurrection, Operation Breakthrough, Pete's Garden, Operation BBQ Relief, Ewing Marion Kauffman School, Crossroads Charter School, LegoLand/SEA LIFE, and Soiree Steak & Oyster House.

Laura is an Amethyst Place graduate who now lives in her own home. In the past, she would visit the pantry once or twice per month to supplement her grocery budget. Because of COVID-19, she lost her job. "I come every week now. It's helping me feed my family," she says. Laura likes the variety that the pantry offers. Her daughter Addie, who's 4, likes the snacks.

The pantry is also helping Amethyst Place residents cook for their families - a newly discovered and favorite stay-at-home activity for many. Amapola, who just moved in three months ago, shared a photo of a dish she made with pantry items along with a message of gratitude:
"Thank you all. Everything is made from our pantry. We call it picadillo con arroz y frijoles y tortillas de harina. We appreciate you all. Together, we will make it!"
In her role as coordinator of the pantry, Mandy sees the adaptability of moms like Amapola and others who are making the best of the resources available to them. She says, "We're learning, like everyone, to be more creative and share recipes to use certain items that are in stock. We're all working together to get through this, as long as it takes."
Your generosity during this challenging economic time helps ensure that families have food, shelter, and other basic needs, along with mental health support to cope with the added stress of job loss and homeschooling while early in their recovery. With your support, we can continue providing these essential services so that mothers can focus on what's most important: their children and their recovery. Please give today! 
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