DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – There was a time in Nicole Adkins’ life when she needed food, for herself and her small children but a food pantry turned her down. For the next seven months, Nicole only ate once every three days.
Then times got better, and she began helping others only to be reminded of that hunger by a young girl at one of Nicole’s first food giveaways. “She says, ‘Mom can I eat this pizza?’” said Nicole. “I said, ‘Of course.’ The little girl looks at her mom and says, ‘You know, we haven’t eaten in three days.’ That touched me because I’ve been there.”
And Nicole has been there ever since for Dayton’s hungry, with God’s grace, in a building that bears that name along with a very simple philosophy. “We are supposed to take care of one another and if you see somebody hungry you’re supposed to feed them,” said Nicole.
In this WDTN.com Web Extra, Nicole Adkins talks about the beginnings of her mission:
And “they” are not who you think. 95 percent of them have jobs. They just need a little help. So, they stand in line, outside in all weather. And at times, her neighbors have grown tired of those lines and have asked the city to shut her down.
Nicole said, “When someone is trying to close a food pantry down because there’s a line outside, what is that telling us? There’s a need.” Nicole continued, “I have to fight for my families, I am their voice.” And so, she carries on even when fate and nature do their worst.
Nicole arrived back in town on Memorial Day to find a massive tornado had just destroyed much of her city, including her home. One of her longtime volunteers stopped by to check on her. Tim Grill, who nominated Nicole as a Remarkable Woman, said, “Within that first week when she could have just shut down and felt sorry for herself, she organized at least three mobile distributions to give back to the community.”
Nicole is now in her new home after living for weeks in someone’s basement, but some things will never change. “Everybody’s always hungry. The hunger’s not going away. Let’s make sure everybody’s fed,” said Nicole.