Home or food? Rosalie doesn’t need to choose anymore

Rosalie sits in her car

Rosalie is a Reed City resident who loves helping her neighbors when she can. You’ll find her knitting hats and scarves for charity or picking up food for friends who can’t, as well as for herself, at Mobile Food Pantries. One month, she received a large bag of chicken patties that she couldn’t finish, so she cooked some for a family who lost their home in a fire.

Before Rosalie started receiving groceries at Mobile Pantries, it was hard for her to keep enough healthy food in her home.

“I lacked a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables. And milk — I would go without,” she said.

She’s grateful she can get plenty of these items at the Mobile Pantries hosted by Reed City Church of the Nazarene each month, and particularly enjoys the dairy products she receives.

“You couldn’t give me enough yogurt,” she said.

Rosalie sits in her car

Rosalie still owns the home she bought with her husband many years ago, before he passed away. Maintaining her home on her fixed income is sometimes difficult, but she isn’t ready to sell it. It’s full of so many memories.

Recently, her monthly social security income went down, making the food she gets at Mobile Pantries that much more helpful.

“I’m alone, I’m a widow, I have my house to maintain and that’s costly. The food has helped me immensely,” she said. “I know my utilities are taken care of. I am so relieved to know that at this point in my life I can stay in my own home. I can honestly say if it wasn’t for this, I wouldn’t.”

A Yoplait volunteer helps load a car with food

At first, Rosalie wasn’t sure if her need was “enough” to visit a Mobile Pantry.

“I thought I’d be ridiculed, but the people have been so open, so friendly, so reassuring that I have the right to be here,” she said. “I’ve been really blessed.”

Food waste is a big problem across the country and is something food banks help lessen, but a large percentage of food waste occurs inside homes. Rosalie’s home is not one of them. She’s incredibly resourceful with her food and rarely throws anything away.

Recently, she received an extra-large bag of frozen carrots from a Mobile Pantry and broke it down into cup-size portions, so that it would be easier to store. She also shared tips for making cream cheese using yogurt and a coffee strainer, and making banana bread with sour cream.

A Farm to Family box given out at the Mobile Pantries is full of cheese, milk, onions and other food

Mobile Pantries in Reed City are sponsored in part by West Michigan Credit Union and the General Mills Foundation Hometown Grantmaking Program. The Mobile Pantry Rosalie attended at Church of the Nazarene in March was sponsored by Yoplait. The food bank is grateful for these supporters and for the volunteers who help Rosalie stay in the home that means so much to her — while still filling her plate with enough healthy food.