We met Lisa on a Monday night, outside the auditorium at North Point Church where a twice-monthly food pantry invites neighbors to pick up groceries. Leaning against the wall, Lisa waits patiently for her turn to shop. Her dark auburn hair is pushed over one shoulder, and a kind, gentle smile is the most noticeable feature of her face.
She has been coming to the food pantry on and off for nearly two years. After an accident left her disabled and unable to continue the job she loved as a third grade teacher, Lisa now relies on the pantry as her main source of nutritious food.
“I like healthy food,” she says. “I’m disabled, so I’m unable to work or go out and buy the foods that I need to be healthy. [But] this pantry gives you a lot of vegetables, which is amazing.”
She also appreciates the variety of meat, as it alleviates a significant strain on her grocery budget – and after her SNAP benefits were slashed to a mere $15 per month, that grocery budget is much tighter than before.
“It’s devastating,” she says. “It’s a huge difference. Thank God for this place.”
The vegetables and meat Lisa picks up from the pantry are put to immediate use at home, making their way into stir fries, quinoa meals, and slow cookers.
“Nothing goes to waste,” she says, sharing that in addition to eating produce items fresh, she will often freeze, dehydrate, or juice them.
With help from the food pantry, Lisa is able to make ends meet more easily. “Eating three meals a day is amazing,” she says with an ever-present smile. “[The pantry] makes a big difference, it really does.”