Just before Christmas, three friends wait in line for food assistance at the Food Bank’s monthly food distribution at St. Stephen’s Church on Imperial Avenue in Southeastern San Diego.
Amelia, 63, Florencia, 70, and Dolly, 66, are low-income seniors from Paradise Hills who struggle to put food on the table due to the region’s high cost of living and their limited retirement income.
“The three of us carpool over here every month to get food from the Food Bank. I’m the only one who has a car, so I pick up my neighbors, Florencia and Dolly, and we get the food from the Food Bank, and I help them take it home. It’s a real blessing for us,” explains Amelia.
“I was experiencing tough times, and some friends told me about the Food Bank. Florencia, Dolly and I come here every month. Money is really tight at home. I am retired. I was a childcare worker for many years at a day care center, and before that I worked at an electronics store. This helps the three of us so much. Fresh vegetables and fruits are too expensive for us, but thanks to the Food Bank we are able to get fresh produce. Otherwise, we couldn’t afford it. Sometimes I ask my daughter for food, but she’s got two children, so I can’t ask a lot. The Food Bank helps me so much.” continues Amelia.
Florencia, 70, lives with her daughter and her children. “I was a factory worker for almost thirty years, and now I’m retired, and I live with my daughter. Food is tight at home, and the Food Bank really helps put food on the table for me and my daughter and grandchildren,” she explains.
As the ladies continue to share their stories, they receive food from volunteers. They each receive fresh produce including: a bag of pears, a bag of apples, a bag of carrots, a bag of oranges, a bag of cucumbers, a bag of fresh green beans, cabbage, celery, a bag of potatoes, a box of salad, a bag of broccoli, and a bag of spinach.
As the three ladies near the end of the food distribution line, they thank the volunteers who have placed all of the food into their carts. And as they walk to Amelia’s car, they thank the Food Bank’s donors who make this food distribution possible.
“Thanks to the Food Bank we will have enough food for Christmas. The Food Bank helps us so much. We are very grateful for the help,” says Amelia.
The Food Bank is able to purchase fresh produce and staple food items for pennies on the dollar thanks to a bulk purchasing arrangement in association with 40 of California’s food banks and because of legislation that gives farmers a tax rebate for donating produce to the state’s food banks.
If you would like to support the Food Bank and help feed low-income families and seniors, contact Liz Sheahan, Vice President of Development at 858-863-5129 or LSheahan@SanDiegoFoodBank.org