Baldwin woman feeds the hungry
By Krista Rausch
A Baldwin woman is feeding the hungry, one trunk load at a time. LeAna Hug delivers food to nine different shelters, and she does it five days a week.
“I’m the taxi. I pop the trunk and say, ‘Take what you can use,’” says Hug.
For the last 14 years, Hug has worked with Cash Wise Foods, Bread Poets and Dan’s Supermarket to get food to those who need it most.
“It’s what they call their shrink. It could be day old breads or a bag of oranges where one orange is bad, but the rest are okay. It’s the type of food that would normally be thrown away,” says Hug.
Every year, Hug drives 8,000 miles to combat hunger, delivering deli sandwiches, yogurt, muffins and fruit to those in need. She volunteers 20 hours per week, and she doesn’t take time off on weekends or holidays.
“The first Sunday that I picked up, there were 19 deli sandwiches,” says Hug. “We stopped at the Soup Café, and Mark was holding a bible study. He had 19 people at his bible study. Talk about God working. I said, ‘Okay, God. I get the message. We’ll pick up on Sundays.”
Mark Meier, founder of the Soup Café, says Hug’s deliveries are a blessing.
“Without donations, we couldn’t operate,” says Meier. “We serve 100 to 200 meals a day. Things we aren’t able to use, we give away. We give away bread. We give away desserts. We give away vegetables.”
For Hug, hunger is a familiar struggle. “I was a single mom of two little girls when I was in college. And I really struggled to feed them. I know what it’s like to put children to bed hungry. It hurts.”
She hopes her deliveries help keep kids in school and help people get back on their feet.
Hug says she is beyond thankful for the generous businesses who donate food to the hungry.
“I’ve hugged every one of them. They know how much it means.”