Senior Neighbors Share Their Stories

Cindy and grandson smile at camera

John smiles at camera

John is a retired senior with nine grandkids. With the food he gets from Mobile Food Pantries, he is able to share with his family as well as his neighbors.

“[The neighbors] always enjoy what I give them. It’s just neighbors helping neighbors.”

One of his granddaughters is vegetarian, and he is glad he can get food from the Mobile Pantries that work for a range of dietary needs.

“I get the food and tell [the grandkids] to come over,” John said. “It helps a lot for them. I don’t believe in letting nobody starve.”

He knows he can always rely on the Mobile Food Pantry program in times of need.

“I know it’s always going to be here.”

Mary smiles at camera

For Mary, “it was hard to ask for help. I was used to helping.”

Mary worked in pediatrics, orthopedics and oncology during her 20-year nursing career, but lung and heart disease diagnoses made it impossible to continue.

She still needed income, so she found a job at a grocery store, but the pay wasn’t as good and sometimes her hours would get cut.

She never thought she’d need the services of a food pantry, but “when I ran into difficulties, they were here, and they’ve been here for me ever since.”

The pantry offers fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, which help Mary, now 73, stay healthy. The pantry staff has gotten to know her since she began coming three years ago. By taking care of her, they remind her of the power of helping others.

“They’re like nurses,” she said.

Cindy and grandson smile at camera

Sixty-four years ago, Cindy walked out of her Sunday school class declaring, “I’m gonna marry my friend Stevie here.” Now, the two have been married for 39 years since reconnecting after Stevie came home from the Air Force.

Stevie is not the only military member in Cindy’s family; her father was in the Coast Guard and her sons are part of the Marines and Army Reserves. When she was younger, Cindy remembers experiencing hunger due to the limited funds they were given on a military budget. On top of that, there were no food pantries to help out.

“If you were out of food, tough bologna, you were out of food.”

Currently, Cindy is retired and helps take care of her daughter’s four children. With prices rising, it’s difficult to feed the whole family.

“It’s increased so badly we hardly eat any meat because it’s just so expensive.”

She found out about the Mobile Food Pantry program by driving by one day, and wishes more people were aware of it.

“It’s a great program. It’s for anybody that could use food.”