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Hunger Beat

52 Stories, 52 Weeks: Securing a bright future

Dave Rauch receives food from a Greater Chicago Food Depository Mobile Pantry in Chicago Heights.
“I just want my family to have a good life. I want my kids to have a better life than I had,” said Dave Rauch, 54.

That’s why Dave was standing in line at a Greater Chicago Food Depository Mobile Pantry in South Suburban Chicago Heights recently.

“I’ve got to be the supporter of my three kids and wife,” he said. “I’ve got to do anything I can to not sink. The food I get here helps my family stay afloat.”

Dave has two teenage daughters and a six-year-old son. One daughter wants to be an engineer. She is a sophomore in high school, and has already been contacted by college recruiters. Dave’s other daughter hopes to be a teacher after going to community college, and Dave’s son just started first grade.

The food Dave receives at the Mobile Pantry allows him to support his children’s dreams.

“Everything helps,” he said. “What I get here lets us hold back from going to the grocery store and lets us stretch the food we have even more.”

Dave turns to the food distribution for assistance because he was recently laid off from his union construction job, which he held for more than 30 years. Now, he is working full time as a welder in a factory. But he still has trouble making ends meet.

“It’s tough out there because there are so few jobs available,” he said. “But I’m doing what I can to make sure my kids have a bright future.”

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