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Willie Andrews

Lessons in overcoming adversity

William Andrews

Medical issues currently prevent William Andrews, commonly known as "Willy," from working. Money became tight for his family of four when he suffered a stroke. He found food assistance through the Great Plains Food Bank partner agency network that has helped to fill a critical void.

William Andrews sat in the commons area of Peace Lutheran Church in Fargo wearing an Army ROTC sweatshirt from his daughter’s involvement in the program during her time at Fargo South High School. It’s a reminder for him of what’s most important in his life.

Despite ailing medical conditions that currently prevent William, commonly known as “Willy,” from working, he talks with a constant smile and is grateful for all that he has. He could write a book about how to overcome adversity.

Willy was two months removed from a stroke when he visited the food pantry at Peace Lutheran Church, a partner agency of the Great Plains Food Bank. When money became tight for his wife and two kids, the food pantry has offered a supplement to make it to the end of each month.

“We might have something at home that can go with this here for me and the kids so we have a good meal,” Willy said of what he is able to receive at the food pantry. “So it helps a lot.”

Willie moved from Atlanta to Fargo with his family for a work opportunity six years ago. Shortly after relocating, Willy contracted neuropathy in his feet and dealt with clogged arteries before suffering a stroke.

The list of medical ailments are currently preventing Willy from working. He currently receives disability assistance while his wife works at a hotel in town and each of his two kids have part-time jobs to help with the family expenses.

But the family still struggles with enough means to put food on the table each night. That’s where the benefit from the food pantry has helped fill a crucial void for the family.

“I would thank them and thank them sincerely,” Willy said when asked what he would say to a donor to the Great Plains Food Bank. “Because it’s a big help. And without their help, sometimes I wouldn’t have food on the table.”


© Great Plains Food Bank 2021