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Food Recipient, Now a Donor

Once an emergency food recipient, now a donor

When Stacy Santelli was 19 years old, she was a single mom with two children and no college degree. She struggled to find employment and found herself working three to four jobs while going to school. During her time of need, she turned to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance.

“I felt ashamed of myself, not being able to provide for my children,” she admitted. “But when I went to the Food Bank, I was greeted with smiles and they didn’t think twice about helping me.”

Stacy is now 35 and married with three children. She has her bachelor’s degree and is in school and on track to receive a masters of business administration degree. While working full time in project management, she started a business and a foundation with her husband.

But she hasn’t forgotten her past. Her company, Future Stars International Enterprises, held a food drive with St. Mary’s recently to give back to the organization she had once turned to in need.

“Having an organization such as this is so necessary,” she said. “You were there for me when I really needed help. I’ll never forget the feelings of not having food in your pantry or to feed your children. With that small act of kindness it changed my life, that moment and I am able today to pay those same blessings forward.”

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