When Amber heard that the Great Plains Food Bank mobile unit was stopping in Fort Yates, she jumped at the opportunity to receive some fresh produce and other staples.
She picked up some items for her own household, which includes three girls ages 4, 7, and 11. While she has a full-time job and easy access to food, keeping her growing and active children fed can be a challenge.
“They’ll snack me to death,” said Amber, 35.
But mostly, the woman was determined to pick up essentials for her partner’s 86-year-old grandmother.
“She called me a couple days ago and asked if we could buy her some bread because she was hungry,” Amber said.
Amber immediately brought the older woman chicken, noodles, hamburger, eggs, milk, and bread. Still, she knew the groceries would only help for a while. Amber was thrilled to know she could also deliver potatoes, onions, oranges, and bison meat to the older woman.
Her partner’s grandmother has mobility challenges. She uses a wheelchair and walker, which makes it difficult for her to get groceries even when she has money.
“They used to serve hot meals for seniors in the community,” Amber said. “But they don’t do that anymore. She misses that.”
The mother of three is employed as a full-time accounting technician. She drives to Mandan three times a week so that her two oldest can play on a fast-pitch softball team. This means she also has access to cheaper groceries.
“Still, I try to shop local as much as possible,” she said.
Items in her local grocery store are pricier than those she buys at a larger market. But Amber wants to make sure there’s always good, fresh produce available in town. She sees it as part of her calling to support the businesses that try to serve the community.
“It costs more to eat healthy here, but it’s worth it,” she said.