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Single mother of five gives back this holiday season for l.e.g.a.c.i. eats

The Mejia Family
The Mejia Family(NBC29)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 2:53 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - “It took me a while, and I mean a long while, to even reach out to people about what was going on and not wanting people to know that I was homeless,” Jessica Mejia, a Charlottesville mother of five children, said.

Mejia knows what it’s like to be hungry during the holidays.

“I had been currently homeless for two years due to domestic violence and when I moved into the apartment I am in now I didn’t have anything just a couple items that I had in storage,” Mejia said.

In April, she found a safe place to stay for her kids ranging in age from four months to 14-year-old.

“I was at a hotel and then before I was at the Salvation Army and the shelter,” Mejia said.

But she still needed more help as the food stamps were not enough to feed everyone, so she asked for help online through the Charlottesville Mutual Aid. l.e.g.a.c.i. eats was the first to answer.

“I had put something on Facebook and they reached out to me. They had no problem giving me a meal,” Mejia said.

Jocelynn Helmbrecht and Steve Easton are the founders of l.e.g.a.c.i eats. They deliver 1,000 homemade meals a week to families across Central Virginia. They’ve been giving food to the Mejia family since May.

“Some families have to tell us the morning of where they’re at and sometimes they’re at a hotel and sometimes it’s a parking lot,” Helmbrecht said.

Despite Mejia’s struggles, she volunteered her own time to give back to l.e.g.a.c.i eats.

“There was a time that I was able to do it and the kids were like let’s go and my girls jumped in the vehicle and we helped deliver the meals for them,” Mejia said.

For Helmbrecht and Easton, they were blown away at her courage and kindness.

“We all don’t have a lot to give, but for somebody who is in such desperate need of assistance, also offered her time which is invaluable. The little bit she could give she gave with all her heart,” Easton said.

Mejia says it wasn’t easy to ask for help, but she’s thankful she did.

“If you’re in this situation don’t be afraid to reach out because my life is so much better than what it was before. People will help you,” Mejia said.

If you’re in need of a meal, you can reach out to l.e.g.a.c.i eats by messaging them on Facebook or sending them an email to legacieats@gmail.com.

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