Ed, age 81, is doggedly resilient.
In 1939, a few years after he was born, he contracted polio. It didn’t stop him.
“The doctors said I’d never walk again … but oh yes I did!” he says with a smile.
When the polio vaccine came out in the 1950s, Ed was there. Despite a cane and a limp, he went on to have a successful career in remodeling and as a licensed electrician.
About 10 years ago, when Ed was in his 70s, he and his wife built their own home in rural Illinois, literally from the ground up.
“It helps [when] your brother is a roofing contractor and that you know your way around electricity,” he jokes.
Ed has never backed down from a challenge life threw at him. So when he realized he was suddenly staring down hunger, he wasn’t going to give up.
Now retired, Ed and his wife are living on a fixed income that keeps their budget tight. During winter, the colder weather has meant higher bills – and the couple hasn’t had much money left over for food. So they started visiting Winnebago Community Market, a food pantry inside Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Northwest Center in Rockford.
“It’s a good thing I started coming here,” Ed says. “Because with my electrical and heat bills being really high, money is pretty scarce.”
Still, the couple isn’t deterred from being happy and trying to make the most of every day.
“Our budget is especially stretched in the winter, but we’re resilient. And that’s the best way to be,” Ed says.
Thank you for helping us make sure that all of our neighbors can stretch their budgets this winter. With your help, we know a hunger-free future is possible.