Seventy-seven-year-old Carole R. of Lafayette receives regular assistance from the First Assembly of God Church food pantry, one of the hundreds of community partners supported by truckloads of food from Second Harvest’s facilities.
“It is a tremendous help. I live alone, one daughter is in Lafayette and the rest of my children are around the country. The food is wonderful, meat, vegetables, and sometimes organic food.”
Ms. Carole hasn’t always needed the help. She spent her life working as a nurse, and kept working well past retirement age because her husband’s illness depleted their life savings. He passed eight years ago, and she kept trying to work until she was 75.
“I kept trying and trying to stay on as a nurse, but I have back issues and the doctor finally told me I had to stop and stay home.” Ms. Carole now relies on a limited government Social Security check to get by.
She told us about getting the courage to ask for help. “It was hard to go the first time. I’ve never asked for help in my life, and the volunteers at the church were so nice and hugged me. After they put all these groceries in my car, I cried all the way home, it was overwhelming.”
Now, she drives her next-door neighbor with a disabled son to the church to get assistance as well.
Stories like Ms. Carole’s are unfortunately not unique in our state. One in four seniors struggle with hunger in Louisiana, and we have one of the highest rates of senior hunger in the country. Thousands of seniors struggle every day and have tough decisions to make between food and other basic needs like healthcare and housing. Hunger puts their often-precarious health at greater risk.
There are limited public services available for seniors, and for programs like Meals on Wheels, there are long waitlists.
Second Harvest Food Bank and our partner food pantries are a lifeline for so many seniors, and your generosity helps keep our pantry shelves stocked.
It’s the mission of Second Harvest to reach as many Ms. Carole’s in South Louisiana who need our help. This is only possible because someone like you made a gift of love to Second Harvest. Every single donation goes on to help the children, families, and seniors who need just a little bit of help with food to make ends meet.