For more than 20 years, Susan worked at a factory. It was a good job that provided for her while she raised her daughter. Then one day the factory closed. Susan lost her job and her health insurance. She offered to take care of her granddaughter until she found a new job, which was a blessing to her and her daughter.
“I was devastated, but I made the best of the situation,” Susan recalls. “At first I let go of my extra bills, like cable and the house phone. Then I sold my car.”
Susan survived for a long time on her savings and a small retirement fund until she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Without insurance, the medical bills piled up. She remembers feeling too proud and afraid to tell her friends.
“I kept thinking, ‘What if someone needs this more than I do?’”
When she first walked into a food pantry in Second Harvest Food Bank’s network of feeding partners, she felt like a neighbor, not a client. It was a joyful relief to know she would be greeted with a smile, looked in the eye, and treated with respect. Each month, Susan returns to pick up a wagon filled with fresh produce, meat, dairy and canned goods.
“When my health is better, I want to come back and volunteer,” she says. But until then, Susan knows she can rely on the food pantry to support her, thanks to you.