Sandy wasn’t expecting the cold, winter morning of the Mobile Food Pantry distribution. As she waited in line, someone else shared a portable gas heater with her. They took turns sitting in front of the heater.
With the warm winters Texas is known for, Sandy wasn’t prepared for the cold days ahead, even at home.
The volunteer leader at the distribution site had raised funds to help provide heaters for families who needed them. In addition to the food she was in line for, Sandy was hoping to get a heater to help her stay warm during the winter.
It had been 10 years since she last attended a distribution. When her husband passed away, Sandy needed extra help. Her part-time job wasn’t enough to help pay all the bills and help provide for her grandchildren she was taking care of.
Many things have changed for Sandy since then. Though she no longer takes care of her grandchildren, it’s hard to make ends meet.
After suffering from back problems, Sandy had to have back surgery. She uses a walker to get around and needs to wear a brace every day. The pain she feels is so constant that it has become a norm for her.
With her back problems, she can no longer work and relies on the Social Security benefits she receives to get by. But it’s not enough.
“Everything goes up. Every time you go to the grocery store, everything is higher. Even though it’s just me, it’s still more than Social Security will do,” Sandy said.
Sandy relies on the Food Bank to help supplement her groceries. She’ll get canned vegetables, rice beans, protein, fruit and much more.
Having raised five kids and now having twelve grand kids and three great grandchildren, Sandy is used to making big portions. Since she now cooks for herself only, from time to time she’ll make stew to share with a couple of her friends who live on their own.
With Christmas almost here, the holidays remind her of the 20 years she spent as a florist and how great it was seeing everyone happy. More importantly, Christmas means family and friendship, she said.
At this particular distribution, the food Sandy is getting means even more—she’s getting a turkey to take home to share with her family.
“I love Christmas…[my family] will come to my house on Christmas Eve. They all come, all 100 of them. No, there’s not a 100. My house gets smaller at Christmas, but they make chili and beans and I make cornbread and stuff. We eat and they exchange gifts, so it’s happy times,” Sandy said.
Though she won’t be able to cook the turkey this year due to her back problems, Sandy will have her son cook it for the whole family.
“Thank you, thank you very much. It really helps,” Sandy said.
This holiday season, everyone deserves to share a special meal with friends and family. We need your help to ensure that no one goes hungry. Thanks to very generous matching donors, every dollar donated from now through December 31 st will help us provide eight meals to families in need. Give today and provide hope for the holidays!