“The food I get from the pantry is literally saving my life, I would not be able to stay healthy without this help.”
Mariana had to retire from her job as a cashier at age 64 when diabetes and other health issues made it impossible for her to work long hours standing on her feet. She lives on a fixed income and struggles to pay the rent on her small apartment, which goes up every year even when her CalFresh (formerly ‘Food Stamps’) benefits and other forms of public assistance don’t. After several frightening visits to the emergency room, Mariana knew she had to stop eating the processed foods that were making her condition worse and eat more healthfully, but she didn’t know how she could afford to.
A neighbor told Mariana about a nearby food pantry that provides healthy food to low-income people. Now Mariana makes weekly trips to the pantry where she receives fresh produce, eggs, rice, beans, chicken and other nutritious foods at no cost and can use more of her income to pay her rent on time and have more housing stability. “The food I get from the pantry is literally saving my life, I would not be able to stay healthy without this help.” Most of Westside Food Bank’s food is distributed by pantries like the one Mariana and other people struggling to meet their basic needs must turn to for access to nutritious food.