At the Lighthouse Foundation’s food pantry, Laura and her granddaughter are picking up food for themselves and Laura’s husband, a disabled veteran who fought during the Gulf War.
“I take care of [my husband],” she explains. “I was an EMT for years, but then we got her, and I had to retire because he couldn’t take care of her.”
“He was in the Marine Corps and went to the Gulf the first time when the war started in ’91. It messed up his knees, his back and his ankles, plus [he’s been diagnosed with] PTSD,” she adds.
Though her husband receives Social Security, “we don’t get food stamps for [their granddaughter]. So, [we have a] very tight income. We’re doing it all on our own. They say we make too much to get help, [even though] we don’t make anything.”
Especially in the face of the on-going pandemic, Laura and her family have appreciated the opportunity to rely on the Lighthouse Foundation’s assistance.
“[It’s been] hard, very hard. With COVID, and trying to come up with things for her and doing homeschooling through the computer. We didn’t get the help with the lunches or anything else. So, it helps. We couldn’t make it without the Lighthouse.”
“Lighthouse is the only thing that saves us,” she continues, “and we’ve known Jen, [a volunteer at the pantry], since before she was born, so Jen hooks us up as much as she can. She got us a backpack full of school supplies and things like that. Without [this assistance], no, we couldn’t do it.”
Laura, herself a volunteer at this pantry for fifteen years before adopting her granddaughter, especially values the fresh produce she gets at the pantry.
“[We appreciate the] meat. Meat and dairy products. Because they’re the most expensive at the store. Meat and dairy products. And then of course, for her, fruits, veggies, anything like that. And she prefers those to sweets.”
Laura emphasizes her gratitude for the donors and volunteers who make distributions such as these possible- “we couldn’t make it without them.”