I’m sure God has a plan for those determined to make a better life for themselves but at times, it seems disheartening for these courageous souls. I see how in our area, if not the entire country, a substantial gap between being utterly “on the system” with housing, cash assistance, food stamps etc. to scrambling with getting on one’s financial feet. I see people struggle on less than a living wage, working maybe two jobs, making too much for government help but not enough to keep basic food in the cupboard and pay their bills.
I remember taking one such call a few months ago. The caller was a single mom with two kids who had decided she wanted more for her family and was determined to make it. Her other friends, fully “on the system” told her not to bother. It was too hard but she decided to go for it anyway and started working two jobs — one full time, one part-time, both minimum wage.
She called that morning to find out about our food pantry. As she put it, she was getting a paycheck in three days but all except maybe $40 was going to bills and her cupboards were almost bare. To help extend her food she had been visiting friends hoping to catch them at mealtimes but even with that strategy she was worried about running out of food for her girls and it was tearing her up.
I told her to come in and we could do an emergency food order for her and her family along with signing her up for the food pantry and also signing a proxy form so someone could pick up next month’s order for her and she wouldn’t have to miss work. She came in, must have said thank you at least half a dozen times, and took several bags of groceries home with her.
I’m not sure our wonderful donors know what a difference they make in people’s lives. Their generous donations, the various food drives, the volunteer hours– all of this is why we are able to provide nutritious supplemental food to those in our community with food insecurity. And Santa, those grocery bags of food do make a difference between families eating or going hungry.
Anyway, I know you’re pretty busy. I’ll write more later.