Woman Shares How Many Groceries She Got At The Local Food Bank For $35

Viewers were shocked at the quality and quantity of her groceries.

Woman shopping for groceries at a food bank FatCamera / CanvaPro

Food assistance programs, like local food banks, are often a vital resource for individuals struggling with food insecurity. 

However, not all programs are created equally. According to a recent National Library of Medicine study, their effectiveness is broken down by things like availability, accessibility and affordability. Often funded by grants and donations, the community surrounding these food assistance centers has a great deal of influence on their ability to feed those in need. 


Alma Rosa, a mom of two on TikTok, finds her local food bank to be leaps and bounds better than traditional government resources. But sadly, many others were shocked to see how poorly their centers compare.

After shopping at her local food bank, Rosa shared her overflowing grocery cart, admitting she’d only had to pay $35. 

"I just got here to my local food pantry," Rosa started her video. "Come with me to see what we're getting today."



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Rosa, who is ineligible for food stamps, uses the monthly “subscription-based” food bank to feed her family, paying $35 a month for membership to shop, “like at Costco.” She admitted that, if it wasn’t for the food bank, it’d be “impossible” for her to feed her family, living paycheck to paycheck most months. 

As she filmed in the store, her camera caught the stocked shelves, filled with fresh produce and meat, frozen meals, sanitary items, and more. 

Grateful for the food bank’s affordability, Rosa shared her grocery haul — complete with meals, meat, snacks, and fresh produce. 



While she admitted that her store is more like a “food pantry,” as customers do pay to shop there, viewers were in disbelief over the amount of food she was able to purchase for only $35. 


"We have to volunteer two hours a month [in addition to the $35 fee], and then we get to shop two days a month,” she clarified. 

Rosa's family isn’t the only one whose food security relies solely on their local food bank. In fact, many across the country have been forced to utilize them in the face of strict food assistance regulations and eligibility requirements. From college students to seemingly “middle-class” families, more and more people are reliant on the affordability of thrift stores, food banks, and local financial assistance programs. 

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While Rosa's food bank experience has been great, many people online shared the unfortunate reality of their local food assistance centers. 

Rosa's grocery haul was filled with colors, freshness, and quality that many people struggling with food insecurity will never experience, and that’s largely due to geographical and socio-economic limitations on assistance programs. Whether it be lacking donations, an inconvenient location, or an insurmountable level of need in the community, many food banks are struggling to provide nutritious, affordable, and quality food to everyone who walks through the door. 


Michelle, another mother on TikTok, shared her unfortunate experience at her local food bank in a video from December, revealing just a couple of bleak grocery bags meant to feed her family of four. “That’s considered a month’s worth of groceries," the mom said.



While affordability might be there for this mom, availability is far from appropriate, leaving her frustrated with a few cans of soup and half a carton of eggs. 

Despite the ineffectiveness of many programs, Rosa's video is evidence that these resources like food banks have the potential to be great and help so many families. Hopefully, her experience can provide hope to other communities, revealing that success with food and financial support resources is indeed possible. 


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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories.