Recently, we had the great honor to interview Debra, one of neighbors living in rural Colorado. Debra tells us about her challenges, and about what getting food through our Mobile Food Pantry means to her and her family. Our Mobile Food Pantries are refrigerated vehicles that serve communities where few other resources exist. They distribute thousands of pounds of perishable and non perishable food items to families in need throughout Southern Colorado each month. Enjoy!
A while ago, my husband was in a motorcycle accident and that prompted our first go-around of real difficulties because we were paying the medical bills. That was also one less vehicle, and I was having to drive him into town for physical therapy. He was off work then for three, four months and I tended to skip meals. I fed everybody, but I would not eat. Now we’re just about done paying off everything from the accident, so that’s going to help.
Before the Mobile Food Pantry came to us, I usually had a grocery budget of about $20 a week for five of us. Now, my husband works down in La Junta and we do have a grocery budget, but the Mobile Food Pantry means we can actually eat fresh produce, and we can actually eat more meat in our meals. We are still buying groceries, but this makes a huge difference in the quality of the groceries we’re able to pick up.
We’re not necessarily desperate for food, although sometimes we are. But having that safety net of the food pantry makes a huge difference for our family. We’re able to eat better than we would without the food pantry. We have the ability to not get quite so concerned when the gas prices go up twenty-five cents or thirty cents. Living in a rural community, our needs are a little different than in town. Living out here, there’s nothing. We can drive ten, twenty miles to go pick up milk, but to actually go shopping it’s a pretty long trip. And you can either pay the gas to get to town or you can buy groceries, you can’t do both sometimes.
A lot of people who go to the food pantry are your neighbors…they’re people you know. People come to the Mobile Food Pantry and they look at something like a can of artichoke hearts and they cry because there is a recipe their grandmother always made for Easter and now they can make it. When the Mobile Food Pantry comes to our town, we aren’t just a number, we are somebody. It’s been really amazing just to feel we are not in this alone when things are tough, and my kids are getting that message.