One can of food means the difference between a good and bad day to many living in Granite City, Ill. Lisa Guilliams founded Twigs® in 2011 with the vision of “a child, a neighborhood, a community, and a world without hunger.” Now, Twigs partners with schools, several large corporations and those in the community to provide free summer lunches, weekend snacks during the school year, and a mobile market to those who are food insecure.
After Rev. Lisa Guilliams was appointed to Trinity United Methodist Church in Granite City, members of the congregation began examining ways to better serve the community. It didn’t take long before the answer landed on the church’s doorstep.
A retired couple living near Trinity UMC found themselves unexpectedly raising their seven grandchildren. Living on a fixed income, their savings wasn’t enough, and they were struggling to provide for their family. With only one can of food in the house, they turned to Lisa for help.
Lisa made some phone calls, and a few congregation members dropped off the food. Two of the grandchildren, a three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, came to help carry in the bags. The girl grabbed a box of cereal and exclaimed, “Papa, it’s gonna be a good day. It’s going to be a really a good day.”
“One can of food, one box of cereal really is the difference between a bad day and a really good day,” Lisa, founder of Twigs and Pastor of Trinity UMC, said.
Lisa and her church realized that this situation wasn’t an isolated incident. According to the Feeding America 2014 Executive Report, 31 percent of children in the Missouri-Illinois bi-state area are food insecure. Seventy-seven percent of families live below the poverty line. Many make a daily choice between buying food or paying bills, while others simply go without.