Sometimes, when it rains, it really pours. And when my family faced enormous medical bills that sent us into thousands of dollars of debt right as I got pregnant with my third child—even in spite of my husband’s full-time job and health care coverage—it honestly felt more like a flood. Sometimes, after paying our mortgage and monthly utility bills we would have $12 left in the bank, far from being enough to feed a family of five for the month. And yet we didn’t quite qualify for any financial assistance. So when we discovered Eleanor’s Pantry and began going for groceries there each month, it was very humbling, but so relieving and welcoming. Now, even as we get slowly back on our feet the pantry is the reason we’re getting by. The meats, dairy products, and fresh produce we get each month keep my kids happy and healthy. It turns out the boxed meals and dry goods we get have been a saving grace, too; in anticipation of summer, when we no longer have the school’s free lunch program, I stored them up for months in my laundry room. Now I have quick, easy meals and snacks to serve my children each day, which takes a huge load off my mind until school starts back up again.
Not having enough is really tough. But at the same time, our wants in life have changed so much. My children know now that we can never know someone else’s story, the same way no one can look at us and truly know ours. I do hope my children never have to struggle this much, but I also hope that when they look back at this time, they remember that we always had each other.
We are able to tell this story with our partner, C&S Wholesale Grocers, who sponsored production costs.