When your loved ones need you, you can either turn away or choose to help. My name is Candy, and I chose to help.
Currently, I live with and take care of my aging parents. I am actually married with three children – ages 13, 14 and 18 – but my parents require 24-hour care, so I stay with them while the rest of my family lives next door.
A few years ago, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s gotten to the point where he no longer remembers anyone and can’t do anything for himself. My mother’s health is failing as well. She doesn’t have the ability to care for him, so the responsibility is on me.
My parents worked their entire lives, but through no fault of their own, they’ve been left with only a small, fixed income. Consequently, it’s fallen on my family to help provide for them. My husband works full time, but with seven mouths to feed now it’s barely enough to get by. We’ve often had to choose between buying food and medicine, and sometimes, my husband and I skip meals altogether so my parents can eat. I love my parents, but the constant stress of having to watch their every move and wonder how we’ll pay our next bill can really be wearing.
That’s why, when I discovered the food pantry in our town I was truly relieved. With their help, I no longer have to worry about where our next meal is coming from. The food pantry helps in other ways too – they often provide basic household items like soap and paper towels, and they provide emotional support. Many of the volunteers there help because they’ve been where I am: struggling to get by. They understand where I‘m coming from, and they care.
I am so grateful for the food pantry. Without their help, my family might simply go hungry. These past few years have been some of the most difficult of my life – but having the pantry to turn to is helping me get through. In the midst of my stress, I can relax better at night knowing that my family will have breakfast in the morning. The food pantry’s help is a blessing that someday, I hope to be able to forward on.
*We are able to tell this story with our partner, C&S Wholesale Grocers, who helped with production costs.
Pat and her husband, Red, live with their daughter, Candy, in Wells, Vermont. Red has Alzheimer's disease and Pat lives with diabetes. On a limited fixed income, it can be tough to buy healthy food. Thankfully, Pat’s local food pantry gives her the nutritious fruits and vegetables she and Red need. By providing meals to seniors like Pat, the Feeding America network of food banks is helping to keep seniors healthy longer — and making it possible for our seniors to age with dignity and wellness.