Julia knows when it’s Wednesday. “Because on Wednesdays, my kids are all like, ‘when are we going to visit the school pantry, mom?’ They get really excited about it.”

Julia has a 12-year-old, 10-year-old and 10-month old. Her husband works full time on a nearby farm, but with three kids in the house, daycare would be too expensive so Julia stays home. That means the family’s budget is razor-thin and there’s very little left at the end of the month to provide healthy food for her children. The school pantry is open at convenient hours after school so Julia can pick up both her kids and food for her family at the same time.

“The pantry has salads and they love the fruit,” Julia said. “We wouldn’t really be able to afford that otherwise.”

Julia’s oldest son, Julio, wants to be a police officer when he grows up, “to save people and defeat crime.” But for now, he’s just happy to have a full belly.

“It feels good to have food like this to be healthy and strong,” he said.