Sandra is a single mother of two who works as a shift manager at a local fast food chain. Earlier this year, Sandra was at work when she felt a strange, racing heart sensation. She didn’t want to go to the doctor.
“That’s for wimps,” she thought.
She didn’t think of herself as the kind of person that called in sick to work for something like that. Still, the sensation eventually reached a point where she felt nearly ready to pass out one day.
A doctor at the walk-in clinic told her that her blood pressure was dangerously high, and that she should go to an emergency room. Once at the hospital, another battery of tests showed that Sandra’s potassium and magnesium levels were far too low.
As an African-American woman, she was predisposed to high blood pressure, and the fast food she grabbed at work out of convenience was simply not good for her. She was prescribed a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with mild regular exercise and pressure-lowering medication.
She said “I asked them, Do you know how much it cost to eat those healthy foods? It’s expensive!”
Sandra has since lost weight, but admits she has a ways to go. Because of the time spent away from her job, Sandra fell behind on her rent payment.
“Each one of those doctor visits ended up taking a big part of the day—but at least my job provides insurance,” she said. After calling the 211 help line, Sandra was able to get help with both her rent, and with access to the healthier foods she needs.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is distributing millions of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables for our area’s low income citizens every year. After getting help, Sandra said “I thought my kids and I were going to be out on the street. I am forever grateful.”
September is Hunger Action Month. To play a role in ending hunger and learn more, visit: http://www.CFLHungerAction.org