A Chance To Start Over
Anna and her husband Albert are trying to put their lives back together and she says the food bank has played a major role in that effort.
Albert has almost totally lost the use of one leg after three unsuccessful knee replacement surgeries and subsequent infections. He may face amputation. Anna recently was released after 7 1/2 years in prison.
“I made some stupid mistakes and now we are trying to restart our lives at a very old age,” she says.
Anna and Albert are 69 and 74 respectively and retired from responsible jobs. Their only income is from Social Security.
“This [the food bank] is the difference between us having a decent meal and not,” Anna said.
The option is something like Top Ramen every night.
“I can do more things with Top Ramen than anybody in the world,” she laughed.
And for those thinking Anna must be a bit of a hard-boiled personality after the prison term, forget it.
“She’s the sweetest client we have,” said one volunteer walking past as Anna sat for this interview.
“I decided I had to become a whole new me,” she said.
-Chris Fruitrich, retired journalist and food bank volunteer
Note: Anna and Albert are pseudonyms to protect the clients’ privacy
When our board president began volunteering at Nourish, it fed her soul. Today, she says volunteering has become a way of life.
Seventy-five-year-old Penelope Adams (Penny to her friends) still gets a warm holiday feeling when she walks into her Nourish food bank.
“It felt like Christmas when I first came here!”
Penny has been a regular visitor at the food bank since her husband died several years ago, leaving her with limited income. Her fellow food bank clients recognize her by her brightly decorated shopping cart.
Penny says without the help from food bank her cupboards would likely be bare in short order.
“This really helps with the groceries,” she says.
Then, in a matter-of-fact tone, Penny said that the food bank contributions she takes home do not just benefit her.
“If I have too much of anything, I go over and give it to the neighbors. They have a bunch of kids and I like to help them if I can.”
For Thomas Quichocho, the FISH Food Bank represents a chance for him to regain some of the dignity that life has torn from him.
During his first trip to a food bank, Thomas said:
“You provide a service I really need. This is a blessing that I can put a little food on the table.”
Until recently, Thomas was living in his car. Now he is able to temporarily move in with his daughter who has financial struggles of her own. Sometimes there hasn’t been enough food to go around.
Continue reading “Nourishing Dignity”