Anita Dunn lost her job over a month ago.
She had been working as a housekeeper at the Fort Yates Indian Health Service Hospital, but her contract ended.
“I was a COVID hire,” she said. “For a year, I had stable work but right now we don’t have any money coming in.”
Anita has three kids, ages 6, 7, and 8, living in her home. Her sister and a niece are pitching in to financially help the family.
When Anita heard that food would be available through the Great Plains Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry, she asked an older son to give her a ride to the distribution. He has two children, ages 3 and 4.
“This is the only car we have between all of us,” Anita said, nodding toward the vehicle she was riding in. Her son regularly drives his girlfriend to work, so transportation isn’t always available. “If I had a car, it would make it easier to find a job,” she added.
Before working as a housekeeper, Anita worked at the local school. She could walk to that job, but her shift started at 6 a.m. That made it difficult to get her own children ready for the school day.
Even without a regular income, Anita said her family has not yet gone hungry but she was looking for ways to keep food in the house. Items distributed through the mobile food pantry would ease some of the stress, she said. It was the first time she accessed the service.
“I need the extra help right now,” she said.
Anita hopes that she will find work soon. In the meantime, the potatoes, onions, and oranges distributed would help to feed her family. She also was excited to receive some bison meat.
“I’ve never had bison before,” she said. “It’s a good time to start.”