It was an unfortunate confluence of events for us. It started with the housing market tanking, and I was a realtor. My husband got laid off. He went back to school and that’s when I got cancer. He had to drop out to be my caregiver. So, all of that together caused us to lose our house and we ended up homeless for a while. My cancer is now in full remission, so we’re basically rebuilding and trying to get back to feeling like we’re living a normal life.
I have a garden that I share with my mom. I glean and harvest in the summer, and then I freeze and can what I’ve picked. I’m also learning more about wild edibles—there’s some wonderful weeds that are delicious in salads. My grandkids love coming to our house to eat because we make real food.
I love that I can actually go and pick out what I need at the food pantry. There is something about picking foods I know we will use that feels like they’re treating me as a person.
I think if I was going to say anything to the legislators, I would say SNAP and the food bank have taken some worry off the table and enabled us to focus on other things. We don’t have to worry about whether we are going to starve. We can focus on how we are going to rebuild our lives and rebuild our careers—get back on our feet. That’s been very powerful for us.